George Clark’s review published on Letterboxd:
Chloé Zhao's incredible Nomadland is an utter treat. Based on the 2017 book by Jessica Bruder, it stars Frances McDormand as a woman who leaves her small town to travel around the American West, living as a Nomad. Meeting, helping and connecting with various people along the way.
It says a lot about a film when I sit through the whole credits just listening to the majestic music that follows, but that's exactly what I did with Nomadland. The rich and simplistic nature of the film, watching a woman travel around America in her van, connecting with various people and finding her inner peace, is delightful. As the story went on, I realised I hadn't seen a film this peaceful, this impactful or just this simplistic for a long time. It doesn't demonise Nomads, the film shows you their life and why they want to and, more than most road movies, focuses on a series of brief encounters, of short, intense friendships and sad farewells that make up their life. It's Chloe Zhao's thoughtful balance of majesty and intimacy that truly makes Nomadland one of the most accomplished films of the year. It's an emotionally manifesting film that moves you but never truly imposes or manipulates you, whilst also allowing you to feel connected to Fern through McDormand phenomenal performance and, undeniably, one of the best scores I've ever heard.
Nomadland is a film you have to experience properly, it’s an experience to behold on the biggest screen possible. The cinematography throughout, whether it be the long sweeping shots of the desert or the closer, more intimate shots of McDormand's interactions, are utterly breathtaking to watch. Chloé Zhao's masterful direction along with Frances McDormand's performance as Fern will, undoubtedly, go down as two of the best aspects of the year and, alongside David Strathairn and the brilliant additions of real Nomads, manages to stand out as being a film that feels both necessary and sublime. Backed by a beautiful, moving and powerful score from Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi, Nomadland isn't only one of the best film's this year, it's one of the best films of the last decade as it pulls you into this world and makes you feel part of it. It is, for me, the best film this year.
2020 Releases Ranked