If you’ve managed to spend the last few weeks dodging the hype over Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, get ready for that side-stepping to become a little harder: After winning the top prize at the Venice Film Festival (the Golden Lion, which is the best award name and best award statuette) a little over a week ago, the film has also now taken home of The Toronto International Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award, which effectively guarantees an appearance at the Oscars. For the past decade, every TIFF winner has gone on to at least get a Best Picture nomination, and Nomadland’s odds might be even better since—as Variety says—this is also the first time ever that the same movie has won Venice and Toronto.
In his write-up, The A.V. Club’s A.A. Dowd said the movie—which is about older Americans becoming modern-day nomads and moving around the country in the aftermath of the 2008 financial collapse—is “genuinely terrific,” saying that star Frances McDormand “provides a blend of toughness and vulnerability that’s a perfect fit for the material.” Both Dowd and our own Katie Rife counted it among their favorite TIFF films, an opinion that this People’s Choice Award win has now solidified as the correct one.
As a side note, Nomadland’s future award chances are particularly interesting for people who like movies with a more mainstream blockbuster sensibility, because Chloé Zhao’s next movie is Marvel’s The Eternals. Disney’s sure going to be excited if it can say that the movie was directed by a recent Academy Award winner. Better yet: Nomadland is being distributed by the former Fox Searchlight Pictures (now just Searchlight Pictures), which is owned by Disney, which means the company already has an incentive to give Nomadland a big Oscars push. It must be nice to own the entire entertainment industry, huh?