Movie Review – Nomadland – Fantastic Movie
My Rating – 4.5 out of 5
Plot Summary – Nomadland
It’s that Tambourine Man again, strumming his strings somewhere near the horizon and the faint tune is wafting by. The sun’s done for the day, the dying light pregnant with the promise of a starry night…That’s the kind of mood Nomadland brings upon you. A sense of beauty, loss and hope of something better – if nothing else, of being at peace with oneself. Chloé Zhao does a masterful take on Jessica Bruder’s novel of the same name, and Frances McDormand (she of the Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri fame) as Fern, just kills it! Brilliant performance!!
When the Gypsum production dries up in Empire, Nevada, so does its population and after a few months the Pin code also vanishes. Fern, has lost her husband Bo there, and once the town dies, she takes to the road, living the life of a Nomad. She traverses across the US in her van, making do with small jobs here and there, along with a seasonal one at the Amazon Delivery Center. She is ‘Houseless’ but not without traits that make her attractive to others. Even a young man she offers a light to, many months later he still remembers her and then she recites a poem for him to write to his girlfriend about.
There are so many of us who go through life without having done 50% of the things we’d wanted to do and these bunch of nomadic people who Fern meets and befriends on her journey, have set out to do that one thing on their list – see the country they live in. They make good friends and better neighbors than those of us who have stationary homes, whatever little possessions they carry are what they want to have around them. The Cinematography is so spectacular, that I think this will crack the Oscars! There is sadness, not misery amongst the travelers. They might seem lost, but they don’t wallow in their loss.
At no point does this story appear to shower pity on the travelers, though at times they do share stories of their lost ones and broken dreams. There is a sense of wistfulness about that loss, not debilitating self-pity. They have moved on, both literally as well as figuratively. Fern refuses to settle down, but not because of her love for adventure, but because she is afraid of letting down roots, again. There’s a lesson here too, every person Fern meets on her journey, gives her some pearl of wisdom, a little gem that Fern can carry with her of her onward journey.
Conclusion – Movie Review of Nomadland
I run out of words to describe this movie to the extent that I want to. Frances McDormand is so good to watch! There’s a grace to her serious outlook to life, she doesn’t demand your pity, rather commands your envy. Her loss is frozen in that capsule of time – of her husband Bo, of their little town life in Empire – but that’s not driving her crazy, just making her stronger. When her loneliness gets to her, she goes out and makes more friends and a beautiful side to her comes out but she never demands your pity but commands your admiration!
If I were the Academy, I’d give the movie Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actress already and keep the Best Cinematography and Best Music awards aside, just in case something even better comes along! Long after you’ve watched this, it will continue to haunt your dreams – for the journey not taken, for the song you never sang….