Chloé Zhao is on a role. Her first three features were all critical darlings, and the third received numerous awards and accolades. Now, she has been tapped by Marvel to direct their latest blockbuster, The Eternals. The word isn’t out yet if her style will translate, but in the meantime, her first three features are all definitely worth your time.
Songs My Brother Taught Me (2015)
Zhao’s first feature was co-produced by Forest Whitaker and is an insightful and honest look at the lives of young people on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It received nominations for Best First Feature, Best Cinematography, the Someone To Watch Award at the 2016 Independent Spirit Awards and the Camera d’Or (Best First Feature) at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Rider (2017)
Zhao’s second feature, and the one that put her on the map, returns to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to tell the story of a young rodeo rider suffering from an injury sustained in a rodeo accident. It received critical acclaim for its mood and style; it landed on numerous top ten lists that year and garnered Best Feature wins at the Gotham Awards and the National Society of Film Critics.
Zhao’s third feature and biggest success to date, Nomadland is a stirring portrait of the American recession. The film received numerous accolades, including the Academy Award for Best Picture and Zhao made history as only the second woman (and the first Asian woman) to win Best Director, and Frances McDormand became the first person to win for both producing and acting in the same film.
Eternals represents Zhao’s first foray into big-budget filmmaking. Early reviews are in, and they are mixed, but there’s no denying the film is as big of a swing as you can get from a studio like Marvel. Either way, it’ll probably make a boatload of money.
No word on when it will arrive on streaming and on-demand platforms, but the links will be here when it does.
Like this? Please consider supporting me via Patreon, Ko-Fi, or PayPal (or click on an ad)!