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Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

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Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Old 09-12-20, 09:35 AM
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Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

This movie has been the talk of the Venice Film Festival. Several critics have cited it as the best performance of McDormand's career, which is really saying something. She appears to be the early front runner for Best Actress - a third win would put her as the only Actress to win three lead Oscars besides Katherine Hepburn. Sounds bleak but very good.

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https://www.theguardian.com/film/202...and-chloe-zhao

Nomadland review – Frances McDormand delivers the performance of her career

McDormand plays a boomer forced out of her home and on to the road in Chloť Zhao’s inspired docu-fiction
Chloť Zhao’s Nomadland is an utterly inspired docu-fictional hybrid, like her previous feature The Rider. It is a gentle, compassionate, questioning film about the American soul. With artistry and grace, Zhao folds nonprofessionals into an imagined story built around a cheerful, resourceful, middle-aged woman played by Frances McDormand. This quiet, self-effacing performance may be the best of her career so far.

Nomadland – playing at the Toronto film festival – is about a new phenomenon: America’s 60- and 70-something generation whose economic future was shattered by the 2008 crash. They are grey-haired middle-class strivers reduced to poverty who can’t afford to retire but can’t afford to work while maintaining a home. So they have become nomads, a new American tribe roaming the country in camper vans in which they sleep, looking for seasonal work in bars, restaurants and – in this film – in a gigantic Amazon warehouse in Nevada, which takes the place of the agricultural work searched for by itinerant workers in stories such as The Grapes of Wrath. Zhao was even allowed to film inside one of Amazon’s eerie service-industry cathedrals.

The film shows you that, along with the hardship and the heartache, there is also serenity in this way of life, even a kind of euphoria – without the burdens of a house and possessions you can have a glorious and very American freedom in the lost tradition of Emerson and Twain. But what happens if your van – or your body – shows signs of collapse?

The movie is inspired by Jessica Bruder’s 2017 nonfiction book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, and by the radical nomadist and anti-capitalist leader Bob Wells, who appears as himself and has a devastatingly moving speech at the end of the film.

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McDormand stars as Fern, a widow and former substitute teacher in Empire, Nevada – a town wiped off the map by a factory closure – who is forced into piling some possessions into a tatty van and heading off, something she accepts with an absolute lack of self-pity. The people she meets on the road are, mostly, real nomads who have vivid presences on screen and McDormand’s modest, equable persona slots easily into this group. In some ways, her character functions as the film’s interviewer, or ambassador to the real world. Zhao and McDormand have to steer her fictional existence into their actual lives, and steer their lives into an imagined world. McDormand is a marvellous diplomat for this creative process. The other fictional character is a nice, if maladroit person, a fellow nomad-tramp (David Strathairn) who has a crush on Fern.Sometimes Nomadland looks like a very, very sweet and positive version of Mad Max – a film about a postapocalyptic US where the people riding around in vans and trucks are just hippy-ish souls who only want to help each other. I spent a few anxious minutes here and there waiting for what I assumed would be the inevitable incursion by violent Hells Angels or sneery materialists, but it never happened. And in some ways this isn’t quite a postapocalypse: the nomads find work and their lives have a kind of purpose, even a nobility. Fern’s sister compares them to American pioneers. At times, the film looks like a tour of a deserted planet, especially when she heads out to the Badlands national park in South Dakota, where there is also tourist-trade work to be had. But the nomads are not alone. They have each other, and their relationship to the non-nomad world is far from hostile.

Zhao may well have drawn some inspiration from movies such as Barbara Loden’s Wanda (1970) or Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978), with their hard-scrabble world. The important difference is that her movie is not directionally shaped by narrative – that is, a narrative towards disaster – in the usual way, although there are important plot developments concerning Fern’s relationship with her shy suitor. It is more of a group portrait and a portrait of the times, brought off with exceptional intelligence and style. Arguably it is not angry enough about the economic forces that are causing all this but it still looks superbly forthright. There is real greatness in Chloť Zhao’s film-making.
Old 09-12-20, 09:37 AM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Some more very-positive or reviews :

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/ne...ew-venice-2020

https://www.indiewire.com/2020/09/no...ew-1234585838/

https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood...-and-filmmaker

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/...rican-carnage/
Old 09-12-20, 09:47 AM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Already got my ticket for the NYFF virtual screening.

Zhao’s previous work is great and I’m very much looking forward to see what she does with Eternals.

Last edited by dex14; 09-12-20 at 09:55 AM.
Old 09-12-20, 11:40 AM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Thatís pretty high praise calling it McDormandís best work considering all her last performances.

This is on my radar now.
Old 09-27-20, 09:12 AM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

I saw this last night. It is another great, slice of life, character-driven, film from Zao. Beautiful cinematography and music.
Is it McDormand's greatest performance? Who can say with the pedigree there... It is not showy, very understated.
I don't know what the award landscape is going to look like this year, all things considered, but this will most definitely be up for major categories.

Last edited by dex14; 09-27-20 at 09:31 AM.
Old 09-27-20, 09:15 AM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

i wish this would stream asap...
Old 12-14-20, 07:38 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Old 12-14-20, 10:34 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

This looks really good. I can't wait to see it!
Old 01-03-21, 08:38 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Maudlin, somber, monotonous. I watched or more like suffered through the whole thing with indifference and not a single expression on my face. 1:47 and absolutely nothing happens. Nothing, but close ups of a downtrodden Frances McDormand. She’s a nomad, she seems to only be comfortable with that lifestyle, but is also just so sad.
Im sorry, I just didn’t get it, why we needed to see it and why it’s getting so much praise and winning all the awards. I’m not saying I need action or anything like that. I mean I’ve liked slower films, but this moves at a snails pace, I kept looking at the time remaining, wanted to fast forward, but stuck it out. I just didn’t get it.

If someone wants to explain why this was necessary or why it’s considered good, by all means.
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Old 01-03-21, 08:48 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Originally Posted by OldBoy View Post
i wish this would stream asap...
Originally Posted by OldBoy View Post
Maudlin, somber, monotonous. I watched or more like suffered through the whole thing with indifference and not a single expression on my face.
You should have renounced your wish.
Old 01-03-21, 09:42 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

I mean it was so hyped and I certainly like McDormand, but it’s just beyond me why so revered. Some shots could have been reused stock footage because they looked exactly the same. Her emaciated face looking out to the beyond. Just didn’t gel at all with me and found nothing of interest in it. Nothing whatsoever. Oh well. Some movies aren’t for everybody, but I simply don’t know who this is for and who it could be marketed to. Nothing happens.
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Old 01-14-21, 04:24 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Chloť Zhao’s acclaimed film “Nomadland,” a road drama that’s expected to be a major awards player, has modified its release plan due to the pandemic.

The movie — starring Frances McDormand as a woman who leaves her small town to travel the American west — will debut in select Imax venues on Jan. 29 before opening in traditional theaters and drive-in locations on Feb. 19. On the same day as its wide release in February, “Nomadland” will premiere on Hulu.

Searchlight Pictures, the Disney-owned specialty studio, is distributing the film and plans to premiere it internationally throughout the spring (pandemic permitting) starting on March 4.
Old 01-14-21, 04:37 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Cool, HULU in February. Looking forward to it.
Old 01-26-21, 03:47 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

I thought this was amazing, especially the performance from McDormand. It reminded a bit of another movie I loved, 'The Florida Project'. Both show an unflinching and non-judgmental view of a portion of American society that is usually ignored and voiceless. But these people do exist, and seeing a movie like this helps me remember that fact, and to have more empathy for them. Right from the start, I felt McDormand was Fern, I never felt like I was watching a performance. The only very minor mis-step was the brief family visit, which felt a bit like a "movie scene". The rest of it almost works like a documentary for me. Maybe my favorite of 2020!
Old 01-26-21, 08:50 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I thought this was amazing, especially the performance from McDormand. It reminded a bit of another movie I loved, 'The Florida Project'. Both show an unflinching and non-judgmental view of a portion of American society that is usually ignored and voiceless. But these people do exist, and seeing a movie like this helps me remember that fact, and to have more empathy for them. Right from the start, I felt McDormand was Fern, I never felt like I was watching a performance. The only very minor mis-step was the brief family visit, which felt a bit like a "movie scene". The rest of it almost works like a documentary for me. Maybe my favorite of 2020!
I agree. I felt like I was watching a video diary of someone's life. It was very raw and personal. I was never bored for a single moment. Where do you think she was going at the end? Not sure if spoilers are needed since it's speculation.
Old 01-26-21, 10:16 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Originally Posted by Daytripper View Post
Where do you think she was going at the end? Not sure if spoilers are needed since it's speculation.
I don't know, because I don't think she even knows. Just wherever the road takes her next...
Old 01-27-21, 09:56 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I don't know, because I don't think she even knows. Just wherever the road takes her next...
I kind of wish she was going back to
Spoiler:
Dave's family's house. While she looked uncomfortable being there at first, they welcomed her with open arms. And even offered their guest house to live in. Maybe she wanted normalcy after all and decided to return (?). I would like that ending for her. She seemed so lost and sad.




Old 02-18-21, 01:43 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Looks like this is finally debuting tomorrow on Hulu. Anyone know what time it's debuting? When does Hulu start streaming new releases? 12 am?
Old 02-18-21, 01:48 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Hulu is generally 12:01am eastern.
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Old 02-18-21, 05:24 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

I still don’t get the love. I was bored to tears.
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Old 02-19-21, 05:19 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Will give this a view tonight or over the weekend. Looks like one I'll enjoy.
Old 02-21-21, 10:34 AM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

A fine movie, but did we really need to see and hear Frances taking a shit? I don't get why directors include scenes like this in something other than a comedy meant for laughs.
Old 02-21-21, 12:19 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Originally Posted by Osiris3657 View Post
A fine movie, but did we really need to see and hear Frances taking a shit? I don't get why directors include scenes like this in something other than a comedy meant for laughs.
Yeah, that scene was completely unnecessary.
Old 02-21-21, 12:50 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
I thought this was amazing, especially the performance from McDormand. It reminded a bit of another movie I loved, 'The Florida Project'. Both show an unflinching and non-judgmental view of a portion of American society that is usually ignored and voiceless. But these people do exist, and seeing a movie like this helps me remember that fact, and to have more empathy for them. Right from the start, I felt McDormand was Fern, I never felt like I was watching a performance. The only very minor mis-step was the brief family visit, which felt a bit like a "movie scene". The rest of it almost works like a documentary for me. Maybe my favorite of 2020!

Totally agree, though I haven't seen The Florida Project yet.
This was fantastic.
Old 02-21-21, 11:26 PM
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Re: Nomadland (2020) D: Chloť Zhao S : Frances McDormand

Saw it, well acted and able to fast forward through a lot of it and still get the details. Bit on the slow side.

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