NOMADLAND

This year’s big Oscar winner is at the bottom. Have you had your nightcap?
Because seats were scarce this year, being in it speaks to the film’s qualities, and there were many in ChloĆ© Zhao’s film about Frances McDormand’s modern nomad Fran, who lives in his van and works as a day laborer, under pressure from an unfair labor market and fleeing past traumas…. Aside from portraying an empathetic image of America’s outsiders and working class, Zhao uses amateurs, natural light, and documentary dialogue to create powerful single moments.

But Why Isn’t It a Higher Priority?

If you look closely at the structure, you can see how the protagonist Fran’s story is more distant and uninteresting than the people and nature she runs through. Instead of blending the empathetic description of an under-lit environment with the central story of a rodeo rider in crisis, Zhao’s latest film, ‘The Rider,’ feels forced. Our tone has been a bit negative. A visually stunning and innovative film, Nomadland.

Gustavo’s personal ethical crisis occupies a large portion of the film, indicating that the film is not solely concerned with educating a gringo as the above description implies. The script, written by Jake Allyn, his brother Conor, a third Allyn named Rob, and Joel Shapiro, is as didactic as a punch to the face. Nonetheless, the endless shots of landscapes at magic hour make this one of the most visually appealing contemporary westerns.

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