Nomadland movie review (2021)

Streaming on Disney plus Hotstar

Rating: 4/5

Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

Cast: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Bob Wells, Linda May, Swankie

Nomadland has resonated with audiences around the world, many of them living in isolation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The film follows the story of Fern (played by Oscar-winning actress Frances McDormand) a widow who has lost her job and home. With few family and friends and fewer prospects, she lives her life in a van, driving from one state to another looking for seasonal employment. At one point in the movie, she explains she is not ‘homeless’, just ‘houseless’.

Nomadland depicts the real-life subculture of ageing Americans living out of their vans and cars because they can no longer afford a home. In fact, many characters in the movie are real-life urban nomads. Their lives were first chronicled in Jessica Bruder’s book, Nomadland, on which the movie is based. Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells play themselves in the movie.

Nomadland is a reflective and thoughtful movie on loneliness and moving on from major life changes with the stunning landscape of the American West providing the perfect backdrop. The story moves slowly but surely and deserves the Oscar it got for Best Picture in 2021.