Nomadland, the film by Chloe Zhao starring Francis McDormand is nothing short of stunning. The storyline, script, acting, soundtrack, and cinematography of Nomadland are as first-rate as any moviegoer could expect to experience.
Through the eyes of Fern (McDormand), Itinerant life in 21st century United States is revealed. For Fern, a series of life changing events occurring in the shortest period of time compel her to choose to become a Nomad. Nomadland in its 107 minute run-time reveals the path to Nomadic life made by others as well. Their story and reasoning are extraordinary and compelling.
Drawing from the book of the same name (written by Jessica Bruder), Zhao has blended – with near perfection – two great actors of Hollywood (McDormand and David Strathairn) as the leads, with real life people who have chosen Nomadic life who play key roles.
Nomadland is at times somber, sober, heartwarming, and enriching. Nomadland at all times feels sincere.
Jeff’s Thoughts and Worthless Trivia
Since 1982, I have travelled a great deal of the Western United States by road. More often than not it has been with my wife Linda. We love to travel, and travel together. As for the landscape, terrain, towns and places presented in Nomadland – we have seen most of them in person. Zhao has presented them with remarkable clarity and honesty.
The town of Empire, of which Fern is forced to abandon is/was real. Like many of the company towns in Nevada – if the company folds or leaves – so does the entire town and its population. Empire was created and owned in its entirety by U.S. Gypsum. By the 1960’s Empire had built up to be a town of 750. The mine (and therefore the town) closed in 2011. The people and its ZIPCode disappeared as well. In 2016, Empire Mining Company bought the mine and the town. Empire has partially reopened. Empire sits on Nevada State Highway 447 north east of Reno. It is a lonely stretch of road.