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Nomadland , 2020. Written and Directed by Chloé Zhao. Starring Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Bob Wells, Tay Strathairn, Swankie, Derek Endres, Gay DeForest, Patricia Grier, Angela Reyes, Carl R. Hughes, Douglas G. Soul, Ryan Aquino, Teresa Buchanan, Karie Lynn McDermott Wilder, Brandy Wilber, Makenzie Etcheverry, Annette Wells, and Rachel Bannon. Nomadland-001-600×894 SYNOPSIS : Follows a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad. Nomadland-002-600×338 Nomadland opens with the title card about how a decrease in demand for sheetrock caused the working-class town of Empire, Nevada to collapse, and while this kind of framing information is not out of the ordinary, it feels necessary here as this land of economic decay probably deserves top billing even over star Frances McDormand. Functioning as a spiritual companion piece to writer/director/editor Chloé Zhao’s previous directorial effort The Rider (an under the radar masterpiece exploring similar forgotten types) casts non-actors of this lifestyle in key roles, but in this case, has the aforementioned Frances McDormand in a role so quietly subtle you could probably mute the entire movie (not that I encourage this as then one would be missing out on the beautifully melancholic music from Ludovico Einaudi and ambient sounds) and still come away in her corner cheering her on to win her third Oscar. She’s not just committed to the role, she is aware that the purpose expands much larger than her […]