Nomadland explores what it’s like to be houseless, not homeless

Starring Frances McDormand, this neo-Western drama film has already begun generating some serious awards buzz. 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; 2021 has begun by leaning hard into the Western genre.

And Nomadland, which has been nominated for pretty much every award going this year, is an unexpected addition to the world of Wild Wild West films… albeit with a twist.

Here’s what you need to know about the movie everyone’s buzzing about.

What’s the plot of Nomadland?

Based on a nonfiction book by journalist Jessica Bruder, Nomadland tells the story of newly-widowed Fern, who is forced to leave her longtime home in rural Nevada during the recession.  

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Over time, the resilient Fern becomes a nomad, living in her van and finding seasonal work when and where she can. She washes her clothes in laundromats, bathes in lakes, and forges fleeting friendships. 

And, while her country may have forgotten her and all those who are forced into a life they didn’t choose, she rediscovers the American West along the way.

Is there a trailer for Nomadland?

You can watch the full-length trailer for Nomadland below: 

Who stars in the cast of Nomadland?

The overwhelmingly talented Frances McDormand leads the cast as Fern. 

She’s joined by a cast of non-actors, many of whom are themselves nomads; look out in particular for Linda May, Swankie, Bob Wells, and Derek Endres.

Hollywood’s much-lauded David Strathairn, too, stars as a sweet loner character named David.

What are people saying about Nomadland?

Nomadland opened at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion. It also won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, making it the first film ever to win the top prize at both Venice and Toronto. 

And, yeah, you better believe it has glowing reviews across the board.

Nomadland  works as both a compelling and eye-opening look at a segment of American society that is too often kept to the margins,” says

Esquire, meanwhile, promises: “Chloe Zhao’s film is a a poetic Malickian ode to the pioneering nature of the restless American spirit.”

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Elsewhere, the Seattle Times says: “Zhao shows us the difficulty of this life – the endless laundromats, the cramped bed in the van, the cold, the possessions left behind – but also its beauty and freedom.”

And The Atlantic, too, has piled praise on the film’s director, noting: “Zhao places the failed promises of the American dream alongside some of its most beautiful, breathtaking vistas, as Fern pursues a life that isn’t driven by a search for success and wealth.”

How can I watch Nomadland in the UK?

Nomadland is slated for a release on 19 March 2021 according to IMDb, although some have suggested that – due to the Covid-19 lockdown – an April premiere is more likely.

We will bring you more details as and when they’re confirmed.

Images: Searchlight Pictures

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