Houseless doesn’t mean homeless

After the closure of a gypsum plant where she worked, and the death of her husband, Fern (Frances McDormand) fixes up a van and travels around the American west. She joins up with a group of like minded individuals who barter with others for basic necessities. Fern works at an Amazon packing plant, a beet farm and any restaurant that will take her. She makes friends with other nomads that come and go from her life. They share fleeting moments before they drift off into the void. After meeting Dave (David Strathairn) a fellow traveler, she encourages him to reconnect with his son and new grandson. Fern sees how much he belongs indoors, but after rebuking his invitation to join then, Fern returns to Empire, Nevada to see if anything has changed.

Beautiful cinematography with a documentary feel to it, Nomadland is about letting go of everything we are taught to believe about what our lives should be. Experiences that you have and the people that come into your life have more of an impact than the square footage of your house. Adapted from the memoir Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder, director Chloé Zhao‘s film stars Frances and Strathairn. Everyone besides a cameo from Strathairn’s actual son, is a non-actor who wanted to be a part of this story because they happened to be in the right place at the right time.

Some people want the big house with a yard and some people want to wake up and wonder what state they will end up in, who they will meet and what they can learn from not being tied down in one spot. Not all who wander are lost, some are just looking for the next thing that will give them life.

“What’s remembered lives”

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Review – ‘Nomadland’

Reviewed online, February 20, 2021. Rating: M. Running time: 107 min.

PRODUCTION: (USA) A Searchlight Pictures & Hulu release of a Cor Cordium Productions, Hear/Say Productions, Highwayman Films production. Producers: Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Chloé Zhao.

CREW: Director/editing: Chloé Zhao. Screenplay: Chloé Zhao (based on the book by Jessica Bruder). Cinematography: Joshua James Richards. Featuring music of Ludovico Einaudi.

CAST: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Tay Strathairn, Swankie, Cat Clifford, Peter Spears.

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