Director: Chloé Zhao
Writers: Jessica Bruder, Chloé Zhao
Staring: Francis McDormand, David Strathairn
Streaming: Hulu
Release Date: February 19, 2021

Nomadland land is a character drama based around Fern (Frances McDormand). After losing everything in the great recession, Fern decides to take her meager resources and journey through the American West as a nomad. Fern and her fellow van-dwelling friends go through the highs and lows of the unique lifestyle and show the audience the tangible and intangible burdens of it.

While the stories and vibes are not similar at all similar, Nomadland and Joker (2019) are one in the same. Both movies are beautiful to look at and there is a performance knocks your socks off, but both stories fall just short of reaching the pinnacle in terms of a transcendent story. Both Nomadland and The Joker are good movies, even very good, but it is the performances in each that make you want to possibly rewatch them.

The most crushing moment of Nomadland is when Fern leaves Dave (David Strathairn) for the last time. Dave did everything he could to try and win Fern over, but she is steadfast in her quest of isolated contempt. There is the montage of her driving alone, doing a puzzle alone and working at Amazon below. It is hard to watch someone throw away potential happiness, but it is also easy to understand why Fern is so connected to her quest and roots.

  • Both Frances McDormand and David Strathairn deserve Oscar nominations for their roles in Nomadland. Also most definitely a nomination that is well deserved is Best Adapted Screenplay and I would argue Film Editing as well. It is not easy to make a story like this so fluid in its migration through time. Whenever a significant amount of time has passed, it is messaged seamlessly through the context of the story. Never feels like forced exposition.
  • Is Francis McDormand the most underrated actress in Hollywood right now? She is a five-time (soon to be six-time) Academy Award nominee and two-time winner. McDormand is always a piece of good movies as well. Though it is shocking to know she had a part in Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (2011).
  • The poster for Nomadland with the different license plates is awesome. Just clever and simple. Looks great.
  • A wonderful touch of Nomadland is that there are very normal people in this movie; AKA people who live the lifestyle that McDormand is acting out. With the exception of McDormand and Stranthairn, most of the cast are “normal” and act of characters with their first name.

Stanko Rating: B (3.5/5 Stars)

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