Jay ✊🏾✊🏾’s review published on Letterboxd:
Journey in the soul
live the combined emotions
Reveals new pathways
Nomadland is such a beautiful character study. A character study about learning to move forward, while never forgetting the memories you created. The movie also does a great job at show why one should not spend too much time focusing on the past. It can sometimes cause you to miss out on other opportunities, while making the best out of ones life.
Francis McDormand is amazing here. If they wanna give her more awards, please, go ahead. Her interactions with so many characters gives us great insight on people who have found a community where they feel accepted. So much of the movie is about revolves around our main character learning about a community that makes her feel at home. She is also at odds with herself when it comes to learning to accept what has change/ or has lost in ones life and how to learn to feel accepted when you no longer feel accepted by an area that has changed. Fern (McDormand) is consistently learning new things, while also being reminded of what is missing. That thing that is missing can be someone who is no longer around, or those who always saw them as a person who was never afraid to be different. Different, yet has the same struggles under the surface.
What is so beautiful about Nomadland is every resolving around finding a community to belong, while also maintain a since of individuality. Fern (McDormand) is constantly learning new things. None of those conversation come of as she needs to conform. It is about adapting while figuring out how to express who she wants to be on her journey. So much of the movie encourages for the characters and us as the viewer to have our own agency when deciding what is best for us. All a promise to figure how to move on and figure out life when things change.
Something I love about the movie is how conversations are set up. Conversations feel so natural. Our lead has no dialogue that never frames the set up for a conversation as condescending. The conversation in combination with the vibrant cinematography creates so much empathy with each scene. There are many quiet scenes that remind me of a Terrance Mallack film, but done better. Quiet, yet beautiful shots can give us insight into not just fern, but the world as a character itself. A reminder that sometimes we take for granted the opportunities to appreciate the world and the endless opportunities it has for us.
The score really helps amplify each moment as something grand and epic. I love that aspect because it really helps frame how there are big key moments in our lives that are epic. Even though they seem like everyday moments, they are epic because they are important to us. They help lead us into directions that help us figure out where we belong and how to take the past and hold it within us. Hold it within it, but do not let it confine the soul into comfort.
Did I cry? Yes. Did I cry multiple times? Yes. This movie was beautiful. Nomadland got to me. It reminded me of how I have been looking for a new place to belong. A place that makes me have a sense of purpose. A place where I can belong, while also moving on from memories that might always be with me, but I cannot let them keep me attached. My past memories are important, but it is time to start making new memories. There is so much hopefulness throughout this movie in regards to acceptance internally and externally. The ending was cathartic in the best way possible. The road ahead of us is scary, but sometimes it leads to the best moments in our life’s that we will not forget. 😊