Nomadland- Review

Ahh off the grid living. Something so simple yet so amazing when done right. Of course, if you’re currently living off the grid (and somehow managed to find this review) then I am afraid to say that you are missing out on a beautifully brilliant and elegant film in Nomadland.

Written and directed by Chloé Zhao and based on the book by Jessica Bruder, Nomadland is a new film that premiered at last years London Film Festival and stars Frances McDormand.

Set in the American mid-west, Nomadland follows Fern (McDormand) as she loses her husband and her job, as she sets off on the road in a van to lead a new life. As Fern arrives at a winter desert gathering in Arizona, she meets many Nomads (some of whom are real Nomads!) Her journey takes her to some incredible scenery and meeting some inspiring people.

What first came to mind after I finished watching Nomadland was how great the cinematography was. It’s a very visually appealing film, with each shot dominating my attention throughout the running time. It stands out as one of the biggest strengths of the film and separates from anything else I had seen this year. The simplicity of the cinematography ties in so well with the film’s themes; that simple off the grid lifestyle.

When a film does this it really makes everything else pop out to you. And this is also the case with the score. Nomadland has one of the best scores I’ve heard in a long time. Subtle at first but when you notice it, it seems to join in with that cinematography and they just work in perfect harmony. Creating this experience of being tied up and lost in the world of Nomadland and just being able to enjoy these small amazing things in this space.

All of this is in part helped by Frances McDormand. Her performance as Fern gave this film a real believability in this. At times I forgot I was watching a fictional construct as it came across almost as a documentary. Chloé Zhao creates that vibe when all the pieces of Nomadland fit together and the style of the film works really well here. This blended fiction and reality make Nomadland a real standout piece of art and unlike anything, I’d experienced in recent memory

This form of escapism in a film is something that I haven’t felt in so long. Whilst most of Hollywood big-budget films want to take us on these epic planet-hopping journeys, sometimes it really is our own world that is the best form of escapism. Nomadland illustrates the greatness that really does lie on our own front doorstep.

Everything in this film works together like cogs in a machine to turn out what was, for me, a really unexpected surprise of a film. It’s clear to see why this won Best Drama and Best Director at the Golden Globes. I am certainly looking forward to revisiting Nomadland again in the future and diving back into this world and these stories being told. I will be recommending this to my mother, and to everyone reading this review. Go and see Nomadland!!

Streaming on Disney Plus from April 30th

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