Nomadland Is…Good. What Does it Matter?

This viewer is the sort of movie fan who is up for seeing almost anything. Even with that, this was the year where the Oscars (rightfully) barely registered a blip on the cultural radar. Award season still mattered to a section of #filmTwitter armchair pundits. They will always be invested in these things regardless of the wider world. The lack of any genuine groundswell for this year’s nominees was even more obvious in the UK. The contenders trickled out onto various streaming services over months. There were still some very strong efforts. Having seen both Sound of Metal and The Father they would be amazing achievements regardless of releasing in a global pandemic. This viewer is looking forward to rewatching both in a cina, ma Parasites 2020 victory felt like a potentially monumental cultural shift. It also helped that that film was a fabulous piece of work destined to go down as a classic. In comparison, Nomadland is objectively a good film. Unfortunately, its victory is also Is a showcase of film awards (Parasite aside) waning relevance.

This year’s Best Picture winner finally arrived for UK audiences On Disney + the Friday after the ceremony. It’s a contemporary period piece starring Frances McDormand She plays a woman who after getting laid off thanks to the recession decides to live life out on the road with a tribe of similarly aligned Nomad people. The central character also deals with the repercussions of what her choice means for those that knew her in the previous phase of her life.

The film is the big breakthrough for acclaimed indie director Chloe Zhao. The filmmaker is destined for the big time after completing work on Marvels forthcoming Eternals. Nomadland itself is gorgeously made. with beautiful cinematography and a fantastic central performance from McDormand. Beyond some isolated moments, the narrative is much more interesting in the point of view figures personal experience than any of the Nomads she meets along the way. For this critic, the choice to focus the story in this way resulted in a distinct lack of emotional connection. There’s only a certain number of times you can watch gorgeously photographed shot of McDormand. staring off into the middle distance. It would be unfair to say that the film is entirely critic bait. Some general audiences will connect with it. The films main legacy beyond its award wins will be as a trivia question. What film did Chloe Zhao make before being taken on board by the Marvel machine? The film will be playing in reopened UK cinemas from today. It should be seen by those that have a predetermined interest in it. Its crossover potential for an awards film is distinctly middle of the park.
7.5/10

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