Review: ‘Nomadland’ drops Frances McDormand into a rootless life on the open road
Based on the book “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century”, the film features McDormand as a fern whose livelihood dries up in her small Nevada town, leaving her packed in a broken van Motivated to do and hit the road.
Along the way, she encounters many other modern-day nomads – many are actually living that life – forgoing bondage, engaging in philosophical discussion and sharing tips on how to avoid this difficult truncated path.
The knowledge Fern acquires has a Zen-like quality, and the colorful, eccentric personalities he meets, each of which has a story to tell.
Van, meanwhile, basically becomes another character, to the extent that it is not a very reliable companion on this journey of personal discovery, which doubles as a tour of America’s great open spaces. After a year in which many people have found themselves indoors, there is unexpected joy in that aspect alone.
Nevertheless, Zhao’s film is actually defined by its texture and tone, and there is not a lot of flesh or momentum to the story. Ultimately, it is the window to a way of life that would seem most foreign in the modern era, to approach its practitioners academically – without judgment, giving opportunity, walking (or driving) a few miles in their shoes.
“Nomadland” is a meticulously made short film, anchored by a star at the top of its game. Nevertheless it is possible to enjoy the film at that level and yet it is far from realizing that if the film makes more noise in the hunt for the award, it is an indication that it was a relatively weak year.
“Ghumantu” premieres on February 19 in select theaters and in Hulu. Its evaluation r.