In Chloé Zhao’s multiple award-winning feature, Frances McDormand plays Fern, a displaced woman in her 60’s, who, having lost her husband and her home, sets off on the road to explore life as a modern-day nomad.
A mixture of fiction and documentary filmmaking, Nomadland features a cast of real life nomads: people living on the road, travelling for seasonal work, unencumbered by many of life’s obligations. There is freedom and comradery in their community, mirroring the same openness as their vast American landscapes, and Fern finds joy and acceptance there.
Zhao gently balances the precarious reality of a life without safety nets, against Fern’s power to continue to make her own choices in a world that assumes she has none.
Director: Chloé Zhao
Cast: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May
107 minutes, USA, 2020, 12A
“★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland is an utterly inspired docu-fictional hybrid, like her previous feature The Rider. It is a gentle, compassionate, questioning film about the American soul.” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
“Through the lens of cinematographer Joshua James Richards, nature is magisterial, otherworldly, healing. … At its centre is McDormand, one of the few bona fide Hollywood stars who can pull off humble, ragged characters without magically transforming into an unrecognisable version of herself.” – Beatrice Loayza, Sight & Sound
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