Movie Review: Nomadland (2021) #AtoZChallenge

#AtoZChallenge 2021 April Blogging from A to Z Challenge letter N

Welcome to the Panorama of the Mountains Blogging A to Z Challenge. This year I’m watching and reviewing movies from A-to-Z based on my ongoing Classic Movie Project. Most movies will be featured on one or more of three lists: AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (USA), The Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time (UK), and Cahiers du Cinéma Greatest Films of All Time (France). In some cases, I will be very creative in assigning a Classic Movie to a letter of the alphabet, and in a few cases the movie I watch will not be Classic Movies at all.

There are no “N” movies on the classic films lists that I hadn’t reviewed yet so today I’m reviewing a current film that is receiving a lot of praise.

Title: Nomadland
Release Date: February 19, 2021
Director: Chloé Zhao
Production Company: Highwayman Films | Hear/Say Productions | Cor Cordium Productions

The always brilliant Frances McDormand stars as Fern, a woman who takes to living in a van and traveling the Western United States for seasonal work after the death of her husband and the closure of the gypsum mine in their home town of Empire, Nevada.  While her friends consider Fern to be “homeless” she begins to find a certain freedom and self-determination  in the community of van-dwelling nomads.

This movie basically has no plot but is more of a character study of Fern as she deals with issues of her past and learns to survive as a nomad.  The film has a documentary character to it and many of the supporting cast are actual nomads playing themselves.  The direction and editing by Chloé Zhao is impressive and this is an absolutely gorgeous.  The American West, including some National Parks, are captured in all their glory as well as some unusually beautiful industrial settings.

I saw this movie tagged as a “Western” and I really like the idea that this is the modern Western movie.  One of the characters even says that the vandwellers are the modern pioneers.  While I don’t expect that Nomadland is a movie I’ll want to watch again and again, it is definitely worth watching at least once.

Rating: ***1/2

10 thoughts on “Movie Review: Nomadland (2021) #AtoZChallenge

  1. Did you go to the theater to see it? My library doesn’t have it yet. Yes, it’s a must-see for me. I love these kind of road movies. There is a place out by The Salton Sea that is a city of such nomads. One of many, I’m sure. I like it being regarded as a Western and them as pioneers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m looking forward to seeing Nomadland when it finally comes to Disney+ here later this month. I absolutely loved Chloé Zhao’s previous film The Rider so I’m looking forward to seeing what I make of Nomadland after it’s generally gotten so much praise.
    My A-Z in April is all about characters I love. Latest post: O is for Sally Owens.

    Liked by 1 person

Your comments are welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.