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Film Review: Nomadland (2020) - USA

Andrew Chan Chloe Zhao Hollywood Movies Nomadland Sundance

Film Review: Nomadland (2020) - USA 🇺🇸

Reviewed by Andrew CHAN (Film Critics Circle of Australia)

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One of the most beautiful thing about Chloe Zhao’s “Nomadland” remains the grounded feeling of loneliness and isolation at a distance, meanwhile Frances McDormand’s performance is so powerful that completes the film without the need of melodrama moments. It is this simplest of nature and feeling that allows the audience to reflect upon their own physical and inner journeys both on screen and off. Such is the beauty of the film depicting how capitalism and commercialism have affected the lives of many and how the poor economy will continue to impact people’s lives and beyond.


Frances McDormand is simply wonderful in her career best performance as the nomad whose husband past away along with the whole vanished town of Empire, Nevada. It is really one of those stellar performances which allow the audience to follow her journey. The sleeping in various van parks to working at Amazon to pay off bills, McDormand is suitably believable as the Van neighbour or nomad right in our backyard. David Strathairn plays a good friend that she met in her numerous journey and duo share a light of chemistry, just enough to provide more coverage of her inner self.


All in all, “Nomadland” is a beautiful film that depicts far stronger emotions than it tries to inflict upon the audience. There is no manipulation of pushing of emotional buttons by Zhao, as she plays it as it is, just like the original novel. Combining with Joshua James Richards fantastic cinematography to depict American dessert life and long shots of true nature, this is one of the year’s best film that lingers on your mind for a very long time to come.


I rated it 9/10

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