Frances McDormand commands each and every scene in a heavy character piece that lacks direction, but still packs a punch.
When the recession hits and flips her life upside down, Fern (McDormand) heads out on a journey through western America. Nomadland is not the most exciting film, but it certainly shines light on those often left behind as the world moves forward. McDormand’s character will enthrall even the casual viewer, but her plight is never quite actualized. The entire film is reminiscent of a documentary piece following the lifestyle of those often forgotten, leading to an ending that is open-ended and quite frustrating.
Chloé Zhao’s direction, combined with beautiful cinematography, is an astonishing feet that comes as a result of the crew’s immersion into the landscape. However, the simplicity of Nomadland ultimately works against it as the intended message is late to bloom. Instead, the strength of the film lies in the showcasing of the everyday person, the supportive friendships and relationships highlighted, and the desire of the characters to live their lives.
Nomadland is a standout in many ways, but is not a perfect film. Form your own opinion by watching it on Hulu today.
Photo from Variety