Ian Jicha’s review published on Letterboxd:
There's a definite beauty to this film that is always present. Many people are talking about this but it's a beauty beyond just the excellent cinematography. There's something deeper in their portrayal of these soaring landscapes. It's certainly a layered, complex portrayal. While the cinematography is to thank, the amazing script and great editing work alongside each other to create this feeling/tone/experience throughout. There's a warmth to everything but at the same time, there are hints of melancholy and sorrow. Fern's past still hurts. Her present has the ability to hurt and it uses that ability. It's a story that encapsulates the utter joys of life while also revealing how utterly unforgiving it can be.
A film like this would be incapable of working if Frances McDormand wasn't as great as she was. This is her story and she manages to do so much with it. I believe every word she says. I assume Zhao must be great at working with actors because everyone works perfectly in tandem. I think that's a safe assumption because she directed this with the perfect amount of sincerity and heart that it needed. This feels very much like her film and some of its greatness is due to that fact.