In a surreal season, Oscars 2021 discovered relevance. This is how

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A man in a cowboy hat stands in an expansive field.

Brady Jandreau in a scene from Chloé Zhao’s “The Rider.”

(Sony Photos Classics)


How the Oscars favourite will get good performances from non-actors

OPEN SKIES TINGED with the extraordinary hues of twilight grasp above expansive American landscapes within the movies of Chloé Zhao.

On the bottom, in huge pastures or limitless roads untraveled, her humanistic gaze factors to the keepers of less complicated existence, individuals embracing worldviews indifferent from the preoccupations of the city mainstream. She is a beholder of the unseen.

Presently up for 4 Academy Awards for “Nomadland,” the Chinese language-born author, director, editor and producer has perfected an artisanal methodology to mildew emotional reality into plainspoken but soul-stirring fiction. Her curiosity about others is the not-so-secret golden contact.

There’s no conventional casting course of concerned, particularly not for her first two efforts — 2015’s “Songs My Brothers Taught Me” and 2017’s “The Rider” — whose tales originated from people of their inimitable life orbits.

Anchored on empathic understanding, Zhao cultivates relationships. The filmmaker, as she will get to know them, elicits the essence of her topics, who later turn out to be first-time actors, and guides their lived experiences right into a dramatic narrative. The result is scripted however the uncooked materials is truth. There’s a private rediscovery for the women and men onscreen as they interpret themselves in Zhao’s fabricated variations of their realities. READ FULL STORY

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