There are many times we dream about a life where we can live on the road and take up odd jobs while also travelling the world like nomads. For some people, there is no other choice but to sell their belongings and buy a van taking odd jobs. Nomadland introduces us to Fern (Frances McDormand) who lost her husband, town, and her job during the great recession and she decides to live the nomad life. She works on a yearly cycle taking up odd jobs at Amazon, theme parks, and fast food chains. She also makes a few friends along the way like Dave (David Strathairn) and Linda May who teach her the basics of nomad life.
Frances McDormand brings to life the character of Fern
Much of Frances McDormand’s performance is subtle but she makes us feel for the character. We are overjoyed when she experiences true freedom or when she goes on to discover new places. At the same time we feel the peace she feels in moments of solitude. While Fern has people like her sister willing to help her set up her house if she wants to but they understand her need to know what’s out there. Chloé Zhao has also cast Linda May and Charlene Swankie who are following this lifestyle in real life and it is inspiring to see their stories.
Joshua James Richards’ cinematography is praiseworthy
For a nomad, their life is about the journey and Joshua James Richards takes us through a journey of American towns that we may not see very often in movies. The long shots help us understand the vast emptiness you might see for miles but at the same time not make it seem scary. Even Ludovico Einaudi’s sombre tunes are enough to set the mood.
The movie glosses over the perils of the nomad lifestyle
While we have nothing against the people who choose this life out of choice but there are a lot of people who have no other option. The movie glosses over the struggles of these people and not shine a light over the capitalistic nature of the country. Entire towns had been closed during the recession and yet the only place where these people could find jobs were Amazon where they spent long hours doing menial labour.
WATCH OR NOT:
Nomadland is one of the first Oscar-nominated movies releasing this season and you should not miss this. If you are looking to watch something life-affirming to watch over the weekend, you definitely to watch this movie.