Nomadland ★★★★½

"That ring is a circle and it never ends. And that means that your love never ends. And you may not be able to take it off, if you tried."

Chloé Zhao's Nomadland is a film of unusually raw and natural beauty. A heartfelt odyssey through the heart of the American midwest, a recollection of survival in the United States and fitting into a community that tries to rediscover the beauty of the nature surrounding us.

Even though I have had almost an entire week to think about the feelings this film evoked for me, it's difficult to write about it. I knew so little about the experience of the Midwest Nomad communities before viewing this, and still probably don't know a lot more than what Zhao told me here, so even trying to delve deeper into an analysis of Zhao's style of filmmaking and her themes and motives would feel disrespectful. Part of that might be because I don't think I have ever seen anything similar – the closest thing might be The Rider, which was obviously Zhao's previous feature film. It feels like within the last three years, Chloé Zhao has single-handedly reinvented the western genre with those two films, and transformed it into an observatory reflection of the people living in these areas. In its intimate collection of individual fates and characters, Nomadland is the film about the American heartland that was desperately needed, but not many probably knew was needed.

Also, viewing this was a somewhat eerie experience in certain regards, as I kept wondering what all of these people might now be up to, how severely all of their lives might have been changed throughout the last year over the pandemic, especially considering how the virus surged across the Sun Belt last summer.

The heart of Nomadland revolves around Frances McDormand, who manages to infuse this film with a heartfelt and emotional performance. My favorite thing about Nomadland would probably be Ludovico Einaudi's score, though – I can never get enough of listening to his music. There's a reason he's my most played artist according to my music statistics; he's been for a few years already, and it's not even close.

Nomadland is a raw, warm, deeply personal film, and believe the hype, it's also one of last years' best ones, if not the best.

2020 Ranked
Directed by Woman | 2021 Edition

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