Writer-Director Chloe Zhao is on a roll, with her third feature-length film winning The Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Nomadland follows Frances McDormand as woman in her sixties journeying across the American West as a van-dwelling wanderer after losing everything in the great recession. The film is based on 2017 nonfiction book written by Jessica Bruder called Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century.
The film was made over the course of five months while traveling with a real-life community of nomadic van dwellers. “We played the game of ‘what if’: What if I was really one of them?” McDormand said.
While living with the nomadic group, McDormand realized that “community is really important to them; there’s a certain self-sufficiency that has to be discovered by each … But they do gather because they need community.”
Nomadland currently has a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes with 28 Critic Reviews. Early Reactions praise McDormand’s performance and Zhao’s growth as a filmmaker.
Zhao’s previous movies include Songs My Brother Taught Me from 2015, and The Rider from 2017. Both films received praise from critics and audiences.
The trailer for Nomadland can be seen below.