Friday, April 9, 2021

MOVIE WEEKEND: NOMADLAND

 Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

That time of year has rolled around again. I watch as many Academy Award nominees as I can.

This week my choice was Nomadland (2020; Rated R; I watched it on Hulu, but it's available in theaters).

Nominated for Best Picture (the list of producers includes Frances McDormand and Chlo√© ZhaoBest Actress (McDormand); Best Cinematography (Joshua James Richards); and Director, Editing, and Adapted Screenplay (all for Zhao), Nomadland is the kind of movie that's beautiful without showing off. 

Fern's (McDormand) husband has died. They lived in a company house in a company town. She has to leave and has no job. 

So she buys a van she names Vanguard and takes to the road, living simply and working where she can. She meets others who are nomads, such as Dave, played by David Strathairn––the only other name actor in the movie. The rest of the nomads are played by real nomads, with Linda May as a standout.

Nomadland isn't filled with tropes. Fern and Dave become friends, but no big romance develops with him saving her. Fern has an opportunity to take a dog that someone else left behind, but it's not a drama with Fern saving the dog and the dog saving Fern.

Instead, Fern listens and learns from the nomads. Yes, the movie is about loss and loneliness, but more important, it's about the gain of human connections and the comfort of people helping each other.

Nomadland is a great movie. 


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

Update: British Academy Film Awards have been announced. Nomadland won Best Film; Zhao won Best Director; McDormand won Best Actress. Nomadland deserves the awards.

18 comments:

  1. I really don't do movies - but from your description this does sound good. I hope you find some other gems too.

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  2. I thought is was a very good movie but then I think Frances McDormand is about the best actor of the understated and restraint out there

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  3. Sounds good and I'd love to see it. Both Frances McDormand and David Strathairn usually choose wonderful, significant movie roles to play.

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    1. They are excellent actors, but I was also impressed by the nomads playing themselves.

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  4. Glad to know you liked it. I used to be purposeful in watching all of the nominated films but parenthood got me out of the habit. We're empty nesters soon. Maybe it's time to get back to that, especially once theaters reopen.

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    1. It's interesting to see what's considered good enough to be nominated.

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  5. I love Frances McDormand and have this in my Netflix saved queue. Sounds like my kind of movie! I didn't realize there were nomads playing themselves--how fascinating. Now I am even more excited to see it. :)

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  6. Great review! I have not kept up with movies at all for a couple of years. This one sounds worth watching. Dog may have something to do with that :)

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    1. It's worth watching, but I don't want to mislead you about the dog. It's only in a brief sequence.

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  7. Hi Janie - it's definitely a film I want to see ... McDormand is an outstanding actress ... so am looking forward to it. Thanks for this - Hilary

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  8. Sounds good. Don't think Husband would be too keen though. Although he loved Three Billboards

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  9. I hope I can see this before the Oscars because I heard it is a front runner. I love Frances McDormand and David Strathairn.

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