‘Nomadland’ Review: A Masterpiece of 2020 Cinema


2020 was an interesting year for cinema. Most of the year’s top films weren’t what’d I’d classify as “happy” or “feel-good” films, but they did bring a bittersweet realness to the table that is unlike any year yet.

Nomadland is one of those films. It’s inspiring with its notion of embracing freedom, yet at the same time – it’s sobering with its depiction of the real hardships of American life today.

Nomadland tells the story of Fern (Frances McDormand). Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad.

Nomadland Trailer

Nomadland Review: What I Liked and Didn’t Like

Nomadland not only critiques the American dream concept – the fantasy of what it was and the reality of what it’s become, but it also explores the idea of home and what really matters in today’s world. It is a beautiful and real story of the desire for connection and the need for freedom.

One of my favorite lines from the film comes from Fern, who says, “I’m not homeless. I’m just houseless.”

For me, this line struck a chord. Fern clearly yearned for connection. That desire was apparent in the friendships she was making as she traveled between jobs or gig work. But, it’s hard not to feel the aloneness that Fern feels at the same time she’s exploring this freedom. It says a lot about where we are in America right now, but it does so in a way that lets you come to your own realizations and conclusions. It’s powerful without being heavy-handed with its message. And that’s a rare blend occurrence in film and one that I appreciate.

It’s no secret that Frances McDormand is a phenomenal actress, but Nomadland gave her the canvas to showcase her skills. Pair her performance with the brilliance of Chloé Zhao’s script and directing – and it’s easy to understand why this film is receiving some much acclaim. Earlier this month, Atlanta Film Critics Circle not only awarded Nomadland best film of 2020, but the movie also claimed the award for Best Director.

Nomadland: Overall

Nomadland communicates resilience, freedom, sadness, happiness, worry, and loneliness with complete ease – it’s effortless. It captures the spirit of a forgotten American dream and combines it with the strength of the human spirit. It’s a beautiful film without sugar-coating. And this critic appreciated the rawness.

Nomadland is now in theaters and streaming on Hulu – and I couldn’t recommend checking it out more.

Nomadland Review:

Grade: A+


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  1. Ok I am so hoping this film lives up to the hype! I have heard nothing but raves l! If it is better than ‘Land’ then I am on it!