Based on a non-fiction book with the same name, Nomadland already won three out of its five nominations at the Academy Awards. It’s not really waiting for me to review it but here we are.
Honestly, it is not for everyone. Some will call it boring. I call it fascinating. Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (played by the amazing Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.
Nomadland is the third feature film from director Chloé Zhao. In this case, she’s also the screenwriter and co-producer. Zhao came in with a bang. She recently won Best Picture (with Frances McDormand and Peter Spears) and Best Director in the 2021 Academy awards. McDormand‘s outstanding performance in this movie got her a third Academy Award for Best Actress.
What makes the movie special? In addition to Zhao’s and McDormand’s amazing talents, the film features real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West. And those nomads are what took the movie one step into greatness.
You can feel so many emotions if you pay attention. Are nomads lonely? Sure. But there’s so much more behind that. They are live a fulfilling life, see amazing things. Take Swankie and Linda May for example. Their wisdom is what eventually helped Fran’s character deal with her loss and move forward.
And the end, I’ll leave you with a quote from the movie:
Home, is it just a word? Or is it something you carry with you? Dedicated to the ones who had to depart.
Should you watch it?
Beautiful, authentic, personal. Nomadland is a meditation on life, death, and loss. Hang in there with its slow pace and downer of a story. Frances McDormand is fantastic, and this beautifully filmed drama may even help you appreciate your own life more. “See you down the road.”