Chloe Zhao Becomes Second Woman To Win Best Director at Academy Awards

The 93rd Academy Awards were different from events of the past. Due to the coronavirus pandemic it was delayed for two months. Instead of its normal venue, the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, the awards took place at the city’s Union Station. Some nominees were there in person, others took part via video screen. There was no host and no audience.

The big winner of the evening was Nomadland, the story of a woman who lives in a van in the western US after the financial crash. Apart from winning the prize for the Best Movie, Nomadland’s director, China-born Chloe Zhao became only the second woman in history to win the prize for Best Director. Frances McDormand was awarded the Oscar for the Best Actress.

The biggest surprise of the evening came for British actor Sir Anthony Hopkins, who received the Oscar for Best Actor. In The Father, Hopkins plays a man suffering from dementia. He has become the oldest actor ever to win an Oscar, his second after Silence of the Lambs 29 years ago.

Another British actor, Daniel Kaluuya got an Oscar in the category Best Supporting Actor for his role as a Black Panther leader in Judas and the Black Messiah.

Chinese-born Chloe Zhao – second woman ever to win prize for best director
Vegafi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


  • audience = people who watch at an event
  • Black Panther = group of African Americans in the 1960s and 70s who supported the use of violence in order to get better treatment
  • delay = when something happens later, not when it should
  • dementia = illness that affects the brain; you are not able to think clearly and forget a lot of things
  • director = someone who gives actors and other people instructions when making a film
  • due to = because of
  • financial crash = when money loses its value and people can’t buy things anymore
  • nominee = person who has been suggested for a prize
  • pandemic = a disease that affects many people all over the world
  • van = a large, box-like car that carries people or goods
  • venue = the place where an event takes place