THEATRICAL REVIEW: Disparate, quiet Nomadland tells a story with big heart


Of all the Oscar nominees for Best Picture this year, Nomadland is by far the least accessible.

Words like slow, meandering and pointless have been thrown around – but perhaps people are also missing the point.

While I can see the argument that the pacing of Nomadland is slow, it’s also beautiful, deliberate and uncompromising.

Director Chloe Zhao creates an illustration of character Fern, who begins journeying around the American West and living in her van. Following the loss of every material thing she loved in the Great Recession, she becomes a minimalist nomad, and getting back to basics proves to be better for her.

Frances McDormand is absolutely stunning here in the Oscar-nominated role, though it’s her least flashy role ever. She’s dressed down on purpose, but her vibrant character still manages to shine through.

Also of note is David Strathairn, playing a lover she meets on the road. He’s quiet and unassuming as Dave, and the two have elaborate, instant chemistry.

If the best road trips are about loving the journey and not constantly worrying about reaching our destination, than Nomadland finds its sweet spots in the quiet, scenic view through this storyline. It truly is a treat.

4/5 Stars


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