Review in Brief: Nomadland (2020)

Arguably no filmmaker since Agnés Varda has blended elements of documentary and fiction together as effectively as Chloé Zhao. NOMADLAND’s narrative is loose and meandering, but only to reflect the Nomad on-the-move, purposeful and yet purposeless lifestyle. Following industrial collapse and personal bereavement, Fern (Frances McDormand) sets out across the USA living in a van, taking on seasonal work as she goes and forming unbreakable bonds with fellow members of the Nomad community. Like Zhao’s previous films it’s all about living an unconventional life to the fullest off-grid, and the strongest and most memorable scenes simply place the camera to capture real Nomads recounting their journey and experiences and exploring their connection to the planet. Add to this an unadorned, stripped back and honest central performance from McDormand and stunning, massive American landscapes bathed in magical light delicately captured by DP Joshua James Richards and before you know it you’re having your own spiritual experience while watching. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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