Nomadland gives us an in depth look at nomadic life in the American Midwest. Francis McDormand and David Strathairn are the only actors, with real nomads making up the rest of the cast. Let’s consider the pros and cons of Nomadland…
Pros: This is an amazingly real film, skirting the line somewhere between documentary and fiction. Frances McDormand’s commitment to this role is one of the finest displays of method acting I’ve ever seen. She carries this slow burn of a movie and I would encourage everyone to watch it based on her performance alone. Secondly, although it’s a quiet and somber film, the soundtrack featuring Ludovico Einaudi is beautiful and sparingly used. Lastly, I must praise Chloé Zhao’s vision and direction for shining a light on this scarcely known, but tightly-knit community of vagabonds.
Cons: The biggest issue with Nomadland is that the plot is nonexistent. We get a slice of life story about someone who has made peace with their place in the world. A person cast out of society, only to embrace a life on the road. Although I consider this to be a negative, it’s important to note the Oscar buzz this movie is receiving. Not only is this movie nominated for best acting/directing, but it’s also nominated for best adapted screenplay/picture. Perhaps this says a lot about audiences and our fatigue with over sensationalized movies with dozens of plot twists. I appreciate this film although the plot did not resonate fully with me.
I give Nomadland an A-. It’s a beautifully executed movie, with heart, drama, and exceptional acting. It’s nominated in six categories for a reason, so I would encourage you to see it down the road. Happy Watching!
“No, I’m not homeless… I’m just houseless.”