Director of The Rider and the upcoming Marvel tentpole Eternals (I am baffled, too) Chloe Zhao shines a light on some of the grimmer aspects of the United States’ ongoing economic desertification with her latest film. Nomadland inserts us into a growing subculture of modern day nomads, who drift from place to place in ramshackle RVs, picking up seasonal work where and when they can, telling their stories around communal campfires and trading their handcrafted knickknacks and tchotchkes for essential tools, supplies and information.

Our point of view character is Fern (Frances McDormand, Oscar-bound), houseless (but not homeless, as she emphasises at one point) after the gypsum plant in her town closed down and the whole community simply blew away like tumbleweeds. Widowed, she lives in a van, dubbed “Vanguard”, and we follow her as she immerses herself in this new lifestyle, first working in an Amazon fulfillment centre, then rambling across the American Southwest from place to place, gig to gig.

Read more at Access Reel.

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