classified 15

Please note: This was screened in May 2021

Chloé Zhao
Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Bob Wells
108 mins, 2020, USA
Primary language

Director Chloé Zhao’s triple Oscar®-winner Nomadland is an empathetic and lyrical film about people living on the road in the American West.

Reeling from the early death of her beloved husband and the loss of their home in Empire, Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) lives in a kitted-out van, travelling from town to town and picking up short-term seasonal work where she can get it. It’s a premise built on the experiences of America’s modern day nomads, documented in the source for the film, Jessica Bruder’s book: Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century. But there is also much of Chloé Zhao’s process present in the adaptation. As with her previous works, the film is populated with intimate and compassionate studies of real people playing versions of themselves, such as Fern’s compatriots on the road, Linda, Swankie and Bob, as well as a precious community that has grown out of the ruins of the country’s brutal service economy.

Featuring a breathtaking performance from McDormand which saw her take home this year's Oscar® for Best Actress, a historic win for Zhao (becoming the first woman of colour and second woman to win the award for Best Director) as well as the trophy for Best Picture, Nomadland is one of the most poetic and beautiful films you'll watch this year.