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Comments 1 - 15 of 17

SpacePauls's avatar


I lived in my car for 3 years. I worked and went to school the whole time. It's tough. You never sleep well because you are uncomfortable physically, you are worried about getting caught and keep waking up, and you don't feel safe. In the winter the inside of your windows are frosted over from your breathing. The rest of the year they are soaked. I kept a rag just to wipe off the windows. The car starts to smell like you've been living in it. You have to wait to go to the bathroom after you wake up and find somewhere to go. You can't just go. It's super stressful when the car develops a problem or doesn't start. I would not recommend it.
3 years 1 month ago
badblokebob's avatar


Based on trailers and other comments, I was worried I'd find this a bit boring, but no, I thought it was a beautiful, deeply humane, quite powerful experience.
2 years 10 months ago
TomReagan's avatar


There’s a difference between a slow movie and a boring one. Nomadland is definitely slow, but I didn’t find it boring at all. It’s a deep dive into a lifestyle that most of us will never know, but many will only know. Powerful film, all around, although I would have liked to know more about Fern’s character, specifically why she chooses to stay on the road after she has at least two opportunities to live under a roof. We can assume she has adjusted and enjoys the nomad lifestyle, but... does she? That seems debatable.
2 years 10 months ago
MrW's avatar


Liked it a lot, without quite loving it.

Had been primed to expect some misery/poverty porn, but honestly don’t think it fits into that category. There’s a strong sense of defiance and even satisfaction from a lot of the people in the film. Sure they have tough moments and in many ways have been left behind by society, but there’s also a sense that they’ve chosen this nomadic life which is a strong counterpoint. It doesn’t wallow in misery, instead giving us an unsentimental look at the highs and lows of life on the road. The ‘it’s pro-Amazon!’ arguments strike me as unconvincing after watching the film - Zhao shows how these corporate jobs are a part of these characters’ lives, while also touching on the wreckage corporate America leaves in its wake. But I think a polemic is not the film she’s trying to make here; she’s much more concerned with the rhythms of these people’s everyday lives.

The American landscapes look great here obviously, but in a way that I think serves the point above. These are often frosty, desolate locations... but by the same token they’re also often beautiful and enticing. The cinematography doesn’t have the sheer lyricism of say a Terrence Malick film, but it does split the difference between that and documentary-style realism to frequently fetching effect. There’s a sequence of McDormand wandering through a house at the end which uses shadow and light alone to tell you everything you need to know about a big decision she’s about to make.

That said, there are moments when the style doesn’t quite gel together. I really admire the film giving the real life nomads so much space - indeed, the most impressive thing about McDormand’s performance is how she tones it all the way down to give them space while also hinting at her character’s own hopes, traumas and history. But there can be a hint of sterility to Zhao’s style at time, albeit one bit unique to this film: it’s something that crops up a bit in rural American dramas featuring non-actors. Still, it works overall, but sometimes in a way that left me at a remove of sorts. The film is quite tame and mild-mannered - sometimes to its benefit, sometimes to its detriment. It lacks the punch of Varda’s Vagabond - a great film that covers fairly similar ground.

Impressed on the whole, like I was with The Rider a few years back. There’s a few films I’d probably have liked to see sweep the awards season above or at least alongside this, mainly because I think Never Rarely Sometimes Always and First Cow were criminally overlooked. But certainly happy to see Zhao rise rapidly up the ranks: she’s made another confident, thoughtful film here and I hope against hope some of that can come through as she gets caught up in the MCU machine.
2 years 10 months ago
Siskoid's avatar


If Nomadland looks like a documentary into which a name actress has crashed, it's because that's exactly what it is. Chloé Zhao took Frances McDormand on the road with the most minimal of crews, where she could pose as a transient worker and interact with real "nomads" who, for the most part, don't know she's an actress. I'm impressed by the experiment and find the conceit interesting - it's true to say that Zhao's "people in spaces" approach yields some beautiful photography, and the film must really have come together only in the editing bay - but it pulls a Titanic. Let me explain. While McDormand is excellent at simply listening and reacting (in fact, playing her own personality in these scenarios), her character's story comes at the cost of scripted material. You can immediately tell when the person you're looking at, or rather, listening to, is an actor delivering lines, and when it's the real thing, and that disconnect hurts the film. As in Cameron's Titanic, real people and stories, touching; scripted actors, meh. My own feelings kept switching from hot to cold, and that's unfortunate.
2 years 9 months ago
IanWass's avatar


I know one of the non-actors in this movie (Derek). Really cool dude.
2 years 9 months ago
mtwallace87's avatar


I imagine a lot of people who are hyping this film so much are pretending to be deeper than they really are.
2 years 9 months ago
boulderman's avatar


My other two passions are board games and travel (124 countries to date). I relate to the nomads having travelled for more than a few years (my profile pic is the other side of the world). This world, like it's subject felt like a documentary at times.

It also felt raw, there were many thought provoking moments and talkative, subjective pieces and I was touched at various moments. Throughout I thought the film was very good. Only once did I consider rating it an eight. Without spoilers I thought a second rock with note could have been added - however maybe that would have been too cliché.

It was interesting exploring the reasons and rationale of the many characters and the title character, Fern, is apt for someone so loving nature and more specifically the "wild", i.e. nature untamed (not gardens, parks or paths).

7/10 (As for the performances, Frances in particular I felt there was a definite presence of intensity and maybe bitterness in the character, however I cannot conclude or state I felt that lead to a greater (than others) performance and necessity. Interestingly, Amazon (a lifeline from a work perspective is interesting)...yet Disney plus got the rights
2 years 9 months ago
Panunzio's avatar


An expansive ode to the lost Amazon generation.
2 years 3 months ago
BLJNBrouwer's avatar


See you down the road
2 years 10 months ago
frankqb's avatar


A film whose meandering structureless nature mirrors the subject matter portrayed, Nomandland is adrift all the time. It nicely blends fiction with non-fiction, but doesn’t give audiences much to hold on to. McDormand and Straithairn are great. At the end of the day, it’s a character portrait and not much more. About as slow and plodding as they come. Lovely visuals though.

3 stars out of 5
3 years ago
Toastinator's avatar


With an unlikable protagonist and nothing interesting to say beyond the first 20 minutes, Oscar bait movies have reached a new low.
2 years 4 months ago
Torgo's avatar


Is this the same Frances McDormand I know from Fargo? Jesus! :o
2 years 10 months ago
Axel Fritzler's avatar

Axel Fritzler

This decade's Into The Wild.
3 years 1 month ago
Nicoronado's avatar


Esta película logra reflejar de manera muy bella el sosiego con el que la gente mayor enfrenta el día a día. Fern, la protagonista, me recuerda a mi madre y su mirada neutra que pareciese necesitar un respiro pero al mismo tiempo asoma el deseo de ir un paso más allá de lo que ya ha vivido. Una bonita metáfora de cómo la vida es un paseo contemplativo donde te puedes encontrar múltiples obstáculos y desvíos, pero nunca dejas de avanzar.
2 years 10 months ago

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