The 2021 Golden Globes was a night to remember for Nomadland director Chloé Zhao. Not only was she the first Asian woman to ever win Best Director, but she's just the second-ever female to take home the honor.
"This award belongs to the whole Nomadland team, the entire cast and crew," the Chinese star declared in her virtual victory speech. "You all know who you are."
"I especially want to thank the nomads who shared their stories with us," added Zhao. "Compassion is the breakdown of all barriers between us. A heart-to-heart bonding. Your pain is my pain. It's mingled and shared between us."
"Now this is why I fell in love with making movies and telling stories. Because it gives us a chance to laugh and cry together," she explained. "And it gives us to learn from each other and have more compassion for each other."
The movie follows Fern (Frances McDormand), who packs up her car and heads out on the road to live like a modern-day nomad while exploring life outside her rural Nevada town.
Zhao, who was also nominated for Best Screenplay, was one of three women nominated in the category, which set a new record for the Globes. She was up against Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman and Regina King for One Night in Miami, as well as David Fincher for Mank and Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7.
The only other female to win Best Director was Barbra Streisand in 1983 for her work on Yentl. Streisand celebrated Zhao's big win on Twitter, writing, "It’s about time! Congratulations Chloé! Well deserved!"
The movie also won Best Motion Picture — Drama. "Nomadland at its core for me is a pilgrimage through grief and healing," Zhao said while accepting the second win. "So for everyone who has gone through this difficult and beautiful journey at some point in their lives, this is for you. We don't say goodbye, we say, 'See you down the road.'"
Zhao's star will only continue to rise, as she also directed Marvel's upcoming superhero flick, Eternals, which stars Angelina Jolie, Kit Harington and Salma Hayek.