Nomadland (2020): What You Need to Know about the Oscar Winner–

Actress Frances McDormand and Peter Spears optioned the film rights to the book in 2017.

Grade: A- (**** out of *****)

After seeing Chloé Zhao’s film The Rider at the 2017 Toronto Film Fest, McDormand approached her about the project. When meeting Zhao at the 2018 Independent Spirit Awards, she agreed to write and direct the film.

Shooting took place over four months in fall 2018, with writer-director Zhao splitting time between the set and pre-production for Disney’s blockbuster, Eternals (to be released in November 2021).

McDormand, Zhao, and other crew members lived out of vans over the course of production.

David Strathairn, and real-life nomads Linda May, Swankie, and Bob Wells, also appear in the film. Other real-life nomads appear in the film.

McDormand, Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey, and Zhao produced the film.

A powerfully poetic character study, grounded in a new kind of milieu as far as movies are concerned, if offers an intriguing look at the forgotten and downtrodden.

Nomadland is a quiet, unassuming film, seemingly structured around random (and inconsequential) encounters down the road.

In moments, the unconventional shape of the narrative is meandering, but the tone is always right.

It is even more compelling in its depiction of a solitary life, offering a distinctive portrait of an outsider existence.

Watching the film, you are invited to see and discover a new turf, a new country that you either never heard about it at all, or knew of its existence only peripherally, from watching TV news or reading the newspapers.

The movie revisits and offers a new meaning to the concepts of home and belongingness.

Searchlight Pictures acquired the distribution rights for Nomadland in February 2019. The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Fest on September 11, 2020, and screened at the Toronto Fest on the same day.

At Venice, the film won several awards, including the festival’s top honor, the Golden Lion. At Toronto, the film won the People’s Choice Award It became the first film to win the top prize at both Venice and Toronto.

Film at Lincoln Center held exclusive virtual screenings of the film for one week beginning on December 4, 2020, the initial release date before Searchlight delayed it due the COVID-19 pandemic. It was released in IMAX theaters on January 29, 2021, with a wide theatrical and drive-in release in the US on February 19, and streaming on Hulu the same day.

Although scheduled for limited release in China starting on April 23, 2021, the film has still not been shown in any theaters there.

Nomadland was released on Blu-ray and digital streaming services on April 27, 2021 by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

Nomadland grossed $2.2 million in the US, and $25.5 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $27.7 million.

Frances McDormand’s performance received critical acclaim, for which she won her third Best Actress Oscar.