“After losing everything in the Great Recession, a woman embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.” –IMDB
As I write this, Mike has put on Zootopia because I have been sobbing so hysterically for the past two hours that the only thing that will calm me is Disney (not Pixar, I repeat, NOT PIXAR). Let me clarify…
Nomadland follows Fern, a woman living a nomadic existence out of her van. As she travels throughout the west, she begins dealing with the long-term emotional effects of her husband’s death, the downfall of her entire town due to the Great Recession, and the overwhelming grief and loss that comes with age. She meets a variety of characters during her journey, characters who make a large impact in Fern’s life despite the brevity of their time together.
I’m still emotionally raw, so I need to write this review in a more basic format than usual (which is saying something). SO, what did I love about this movie:
- Cinematography Can Be Fun Too: As an Arizona, with ties to Nebraska and South Dakota, this movie quickly bore its way into my soul. It captured its locations (Arizona, California, Nebraska, Nevada, and South Dakota) at their most picturesque and is a stunning love letter to the west and its wide open spaces.
- Howdy, Cowboy: It walks in the footsteps of westerns before it, finding a balance between the individualism so characteristic of the west and the interconnectedness we inherently need as humans.
- Trying to Say This Without Pretension: The score is so goddamn beautiful. I would have cried anyway, but the soundtrack definitely sent me over the edge into hysterics.
- See You Down the Road: Ultimately, this film is a contemplation on loss and grief and that is what makes it so beautiful. My favorite art (and it doesn’t necessarily have to be films) deals with incredibly intense subjects in a stripped down way. Although this opens you up to being incredibly raw as an audience member, so raw that you start slobbering on yourself. Oh sorry, that’s just me? Okay then. Sniffle.
So, if you couldn’t tell already, I loved it. However, I acknowledge that it may not be for everyone. Particularly if you don’t want to embarrassingly weep in front of your family/spouse/dog/cat, then you might want to skip this one.
Rating: 9 out of 10 Claire Bears
If you like this movie, you should also see: Into the Wild, The Florida Project, Wild, Independent Lens (American Nomads)
With: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn
Directed By: Chloe Zhao