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Drama - US

Nomadland (2020)

Duration1h 47m
RatingsUK: 12A, USA: R, Argentina: 13 
Source of storyBased on a book by Jessica Bruder
DirectorChloé Zhao
Writers/ScriptChloé Zhao
StarringFrances McDormand, David Strathairn, and a lot of real people.
RatingsIMDb: 7.4 by 104,885 people.  Rotten Tomatoes: .

Elevator Pitch: After the financial catastrophes of the early 2000s the town of Empire, which provided a workforce for a gypsum mine, is abandoned. The former citizens include Fern, a 60 something lady who puts her furniture into store and embarks on a road trip in a van, working as a casual labourer. She starts in Amazon in Nevada and then moves on into warmer climes where she makes friends amongst fellow nomads and works at a variety of seasonal jobs. She has to borrow money to fix her van and at times is invited to stay in people’s houses. Will she continue with her new life?

Content: There is no sex although Fern is naked once, swimming. There is a lot of smoking and some drinking, and a bit of defecating. Fern joins the nomads and they spend time chatting round camp fires. She works in Amazon as part of something called  “Camperforce” in a vast Amazon fulfilment centre, and for some of the campsites where she pitches her van. There is an almost romance with Dave a fellow camper who has health problems. And the van is sometimes on the road in the vast outback of which much of America is composed.

A View: Hurrah! This is the first time I have been to the cinema in more than a year. It was great, and it would not have mattered what the film was. Nomadland is a low budget outing feted by the critics, and garlanded at the Oscars. It was a bit of an eye opener, and it made me more than ever keen never to buy anything from Amazon. Other than that there was much about it for me to dislike. I don’t really like amateur actors, or improv. But there was Frances McDormand who would be a National Treasure in UK, and the American great outdoors. Fine if you like that sort of thing. If you don’t prepare to be bored.

Additional Info: The director is a Chinese national and with the success of her film was much feted by those in charge in the country – until they dug up some critical things she had said about China in the past, which resulted in them changing their minds 

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels

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