In a year almost completely devoid of visual spectacles and all the usual cinematic bells + whistles, the smaller, more intimate films like Jungleland and Sound of Metal are the ones which have really shined through. As we’ve previously noted – specifically in regards to the former – when you take away the entire cinema-going experience, there’s not a whole lot you can hide behind. No sense of occasion, no grandeur, nor high-concept gimmicks. All that’s left to judge a film by is storytelling in its purest form. So it was only appropriate that Chloe Zhao’s well-considered Nomadland starring Francis McDormand won the 2021 Oscar for Best Picture.
Richly textured with human emotions, Nomadland tells the unglamorous tale of a sixty-something widow named Fern (McDormand) who loses both her job and home during the recession circa 2011. Forced to live out of a van as she wanders the country in search of seasonal work, Fern embarks on an odyssey which highlights the flawed idealism of “The Great American Dream” versus the depressing reality, all the while being presented in heartbreakingly gorgeous cinematography.
Based on Jessica Bruder’s 2017 non-fiction book – Nomadland: Surviving America In The 21st Century – which was later adapted into a short documentary, the film was written, directed, produced, and edited by Zhao herself, who made history as the second woman to ever win an Oscar in the Best Director category. And in a clean sweep effort, starring actress Francis McDormand also managed to secure her third Oscar for Best Actress.
Nomadland beat the following nominees:
- The Father – directed by Florian Zeller, starring Anthony Hopkins & Olivia Colman
- Judas & the Black Messiah – directed by Shaka King, starring Daniel Kaluuya, LaKeith Stanfield, & Jesse Plemons
- Mank – directed by David Fincher, starring Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, & Lily Collins
- Minari – directed by Lee Isaac Chung, starring Steven Yuen, Han Ye-ri, Alan S. Kim, & Young Yuh-jung
- Promising Young Woman – directed by Emerald Fennell, starring Carey Mulligan & Bo Burnham
- Sound of Metal – directed by Darius Marder, starring Riz Ahmed & Olivia Cooke
- The Trial of the Chicago 7 – directed by Aaron Sorkin, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, Eddie Redmayne, & Jeremy Strong
How To Watch Nomadland In Australia
Nomadland will be available to stream in Australia via Disney+ starting from April 30th.
Hit the link below to sign up.