Nomadland ★★★

A week or so before watching, Grace had asked me if I thought it would be good or just my thoughts in general. I said something along the lines of I am sure it will be good. Really, how could it not be? From the paragraph description on imdb, to the poster, to the film itself, I would venture to say that it risks nothing and comes out as a good movie whom all should watch to glean a little larger picture of a way of life that has been culturally romanticized in the last ten or so years. That could seem harsh but there are certain kinds of movies that tell stories that will assuredly resonate emotionally and while doing so will be able to capture nature at its best. Often those two go in hand in hand. Nomadland can't quite figure out if Fern chose the van life or if the van life chose her. She is at once a heroine defying the assembly line and stability and at another time the victim of loss of person and place. I understand that in reality, people like Fern are motivated by both. But in a film like this, how we were supposed to feel about Fern and her decisions never seemed stable. I'm not so sure Zhao knew either. This is case in point what I am trying to say. It seems like Nomadland was a concept first. One in which is endlessly interesting and beautiful. A person asking life's biggest questions amongst life's biggest land. Sold. The problem is I am not sure Fern was vital to this story and in the second half Zhao tried to make her. It seemed like a pseudo-documentary in the community Fern lived in for awhile would have been a better catalyst to truly get after the ethos of nomadic people. But hey, they needed an Oscar nominee for best actress in a leading role (which she would be worthy of).

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