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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Nomadland (2020)

Set in 2011, a recent widow (Frances McDormand) finds herself jobless when the Gypsum plant, the source of the town's income shuts down. She sells most of her belongings and buys a van and hits the road. Based on the non fiction book NOMADLAND: SURVIVING AMERICA IN THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY by Jessica Bruder and written for the screen and directed by Chloe Zhao. The film has no plot to speak of yet it slowly accumulates into a powerful and emotional journey of freedom in its truest sense. It's an American film yet it reminded me in its execution of some of the great European films of the 1960s, Michelangelo Antonioni in particular and like Fellini, Zhao uses non professional actors (Linda May, Bob Wells, Charlene Swankie) who bring authenticity to the nomadic culture. At the center of the film is McDormand whose Oscar winning performance is marvelous. McDormand's face has her character's life written all over it and her subtle naturalism lets her blend in with her surroundings rather than standing out in a "star" performance. A lovely piece of work. With David Strathairn and Peter Spears.

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