HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
StageFright
Voyage of Time: An IMAX Documentary
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 
  Nomadland Roam Where You Want To
Year: 2020
Director: Chloe Zhao
Stars: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Linda May, Charlene Swankie, Bob Wells, etc
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Fern (Frances McDormand) lost her job and her husband when the mining town was forced to close in 2011, and because the company owned all the property in the area, they were given five months to find somewhere else to live as the location became a ghost town. After her husband died, Fern set out on the road, preferring the existence of the modern nomad on America, the people who move from place to place in search of work or simply somewhere to stay, though more often than not they end up moving on before long. This is not a secure life, but Fern decides she likes it better than settling down: she doesn't say she's homeless, she says she's houseless...

Nomadland saw its claim to fame be that big Oscar win, and not only at the Academy Awards, the awards season, as stretched out as it was in 2021 as the pandemic carried on, were keen to garland writer and director (and editor, and producer) Chloe Zhao with gongs. It seemed to suit the mood of the past year or two, a reflective, melancholy tale steeped in realism that sought to provide comfort for those undergoing the ordeal of a hampered way of life imposed upon them, telling them this new normal can be survivable if you just hunker down and keep on keeping on. But there was a difference between Fern, the character, and the actual nomads she represented.

This being, he was the embodiment of the Lee Marvin song Wandrin' Star, she was not doing this because she had no choice, indeed we see opportunities for her to have somewhere more permanent to live that many of those nomads would jump at, and this rendered her not quite ringing true to the dire straits that many of her countrymen and women were landed in. That American myth of the romance of the self-sufficient was all over Zhao's film, and even though it was drawn from a non-fiction book, the way that it created an impression of what was basically a homeless life – never mind this "houseless" misnomer - was underselling the genuine hardship that too many had no choice about.

In that manner it was a little like Sean Penn's film Into the Wild, which also romanticised a real-life loner to the point that his ultimate tragedy was portrayed as something for the audience to indulge their sentimentality in rather than a senseless waste. And then there was the problem that no matter how good McDormand was, and she was very good indeed, not to take that away from her, she remained a movie star pretending to be someone many rungs down the ladder of society, and that created a disconnect between the genuine nomads we saw threaded into her factional story, and the feeling she was exploiting their experiences all the time she was trying to sympathetically highlight them. It was an enormously sympathetic movie, there was no doubt there, but there was a slight falseness to it as well.

Therefore we would be offered scenes where the real nomads would share their stories, and those were authentic and even moving, but then we had to tally that up with the celebrity coming in to steal their thunder with a character who had bought into the whole notion of heading out on the highway, looking for adventure: at least in Easy Rider there was a decidedly less than romantic ending to bring us up short about our fantasies of living free and wild. There were millions of citizens, not only American and not only homeless either, who were trapped in go nowhere circumstances, dead end jobs, if they had jobs, addictions to drugs, legal and illegal, and alcohol, in danger of violence, and all sorts of issues that Nomadland barely touched on. The attractiveness of the scenery was all very well, but a lot of folks are going through Hell even before the pandemic, and this did not really do them justice one hundred percent of the time, giving us glimpses but returning to that Wild West glamour - the ending even referenced The Searchers, as if this was a modern Western to be savoured, not troubled by. Music by Ludovico Einaudi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 536 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: