She's the first Asian woman to ever win, and only the second woman ever.

Olivia Harvey
Feb 03, 2021 @ 10:31 am
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Chloe Zhao
Credit: Amanda Edwards, Getty Images

Update, February 28th, 2021: In tonight's Golden Globes ceremony, Chloé Zhao took home the award for Best Director of a Motion Picture for her work in Nomadland. Not only was this a historic year for nominations, with three out of five of the nominees being women, but Zhao's win makes her only the second woman to win and the *first* Asian woman to win.

Yes, the first—in 2021. Nevertheless, Zhao's win was well-earned, and her fellow nominees showed nothing but love when her name was announced. Zhao also used her acceptance speech to focus on compassion—something we could always use a little more of. Her film also took home the award for Best Motion Picture, Drama.

Original story, February 3rd, 2021: This morning, the nominations for the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards went live, and women dominated the Best Director of a Motion Picture category. For the first time in Golden Globes history, three women were nominated in the category, making them the sixth, seventh, and eighth women to be nominated for Best Director. They join the likes of Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion, Ava DuVernay, Kathryn Bigelow, and Barbara Streisand, who is the first and only woman to have won the Golden Globe for Best Director for her 1984 film Yentl.

This year, Regina King, Chloé Zhao, and Emerald Fennell are nominated for Best Director alongside Golden Globe alumni David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin.

King is nominated for her directorial debut, One Night in Miami, which is a fictional retelling of the February night in 1965 during which Cassius Clay, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Malcom X met to discuss their roles as powerful Black media figures during the civil rights movement.

Filmmaker Chloé Zhao is nominated for Best Director for Nomadland, starring Frances McDormand, nominated for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama. Zhao is the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated in the category, and she and Nomadland are also up for both Best Screenplay and Best Motion Picture, Drama.

The film is based on the book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century, which chronicles several older Americans who find themselves moving from place to place in trailers in order to keep work after the Great Recession.

And finally, actress-turned-director Emerald Fennell is nominated for her dark comedy Promising Young Woman starring Carey Mulligan, who is nominated for Best Actress alongside McDormand in this role.

Fennell, who, like King, is nominated for her directorial debut, also wrote and produced the thriller about a woman seeking to avenge her friend's rape. Like Zhao, Fennell and Promising Young Woman are also up for Best Screenplay and Best Motion Picture, Drama.

With three women dominating the category of five nominees, the likelihood for one of them to join Barbara Streisand in Golden Globes history as the second woman to win Best Director is strong. We've waited nearly 40 years to see another female director win the category, and the change in the wind feels lovely.