In our attempt to watch all the Oscar-nominated films after a year in which no one went to the movies, we started with Nomadland last night. It was a tour de force for Frances McDormand. Several of the supporting cast are actual nomads and not professional actors. It’s a combination of horror and hope and a distinctly different way to consider those marching to the beats of other drummers. The sense of community and connection is actually quite profound among those we mistakenly believe to be “outcasts” and loners. McDormand’s “Fern” has chosen this route after a traumatic loss.
It was longer than it needed to be and at times I felt the cinematographer was shouting at me, “Look at how well I shoot nature!” sort of the way Viola Davis acts (“Look at me, I’m acting!”). But the story focuses on a minority of people who are themselves quite diverse, asking for nothing from anyone except to live their lives as they see fit, not harming anyone. It was an eye-opener.