“Nomadland” starring Frances McDormand, directed by Chloé Zhao is the story of what happens after your husband dies, after the town you’ve lived in for decades dies, and suddenly you don’t know where to go.
“Nomadland” is based on a book by Jessica Bruder. Fern’s husband Bo died year’s before, and then without any warning, when the housing market contracted, the gypsum plant in Empire, Nevada closes leaving everyone in the town without a job. Within six months, the town of Empire was wiped off the map. Fern begins seasonal employment during the holidays working for Amazon. Amazon offers its employees a trailer park where they can get running water, electricity, a warm meal, but after New Years Day, the seasonal jobs end and Fern and many others in the same situation are back on the road.
Fern runs into some friendly fellow nomads, there is a group gathering in a nearby town where nomads share some meals, some advice for living on the road, and trade wares. Fern makes friends, she sees others “down the road” in other towns working as a camp attendant, working at a local drugstore, moving from place to place as job opportunities dry up.
The film is a thought-provoking commentary on the nomadic lifestyle. A people untethered to the trappings of normal American life, as well as the families they leave behind.
The film’s cinematography set in the desert is superb. It is a very beautiful film. Frances McDormand per usual is excellent. She gives an amazing performance. The film was nominated for six Oscars including Best Picture, Chloé Zhao for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Frances McDormand for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
One unique aspect of this film is the music and score. The music was by Ludovico Einaudi. He created an atmospheric and eerie mood throughout the film as each scene transitions.
The film is currently streaming on Hulu. Check out the trailer below.