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Nomadland (15*)

BFI London Film Festival 2020

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A still from Nomadland

Frances McDormand illuminates Chloé Zhao’s follow up to The Rider, a humane and lyrical film about people living on the road in the American West, based on Jessica Bruder's eponymous book.

Reeling from the death of her beloved husband and the loss of their Nevada home, Fern (McDormand) lives in a van, travelling from town to town and picking up seasonal work.

There is much of Chloé Zhao’s process present in the adaptation. The film is populated with intimate and compassionate studies of real people playing versions of themselves, such as Fern’s compatriots on the road, Linda, Swankie and Bob, as well as a precious community that has grown out of the ruins of the country’s brutal service economy. Zhao’s regular collaborator, cinematographer Joshua James Richards, exquisitely captures the expansive open landscapes of the Western United States.

Alongside them, McDormand delivers an angular, sympathetic portrait of an older woman choosing a life of relative freedom, whatever the pains and challenges that entails. 
 

US 2020 Dir Chloé Zhao 108 min

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