Of all the movies that were, weren’t, still could be, won’t be in 2020, but will be in 2021, I suppose Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, based on the 2017 non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder, is the one I’m anticipating the most. Zhao is the critical-darling director of The Rider, and she also wrote, edited, and produced this timely adaptation starring two-time Academy Award winner Frances McDormand – while working on Marvel’s upcoming Eternals.
Boss! Color me impressed.
Nomadland centers on McDormand’s Fern, a (fictional) Nevada widow, who packs up her van and sets off on the road to explore life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad, following the the economic collapse of a company town back home, and features real nomads Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.
A film about the wander, what leads to it, what it means, what we can’t begin to know about it…. Sold.
Nomadland is due out on Feb. 19.