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  • Writer's pictureEugene

Nomadland (2020)

Updated: Jul 17, 2022

Projectionist's rating: 7/10

We longed to see a HOUSE FULL sign and tonight it happened, the first time since lockdown. Buoyed by the success of the evening, we joined together for our hybrid post film discussion.

Did Nomadland deserve to win an Oscar, being up against Minari, which we had seen a few weeks ago and other upcoming RCC movies? For some of us, it was a resounding yes. Chloe Zhao’s 2020 film was “a coherent piece of art”, reflecting themes of grief and loss. The quality of lighting, choice of locations and camera work were highlighted.

For others, the film wasn’t political enough, perhaps watering down the punchy messages of the original Jessica Bruder book about surviving America in the 21st century. As was pointed out, we all bring our own feelings to films. This was indicated when we discussed the final sequence and whether it meant Fern’s sense of loss was resolved or whether she was left with emptiness.

One member of the group talked about a friend who lived on the streets, despite being offered accommodation. He relished the freedom. We also reflected on what we need in life and what is important. The nomads showed warmth and support to others in their camp, but travelled as individuals. They were happy to meet some of their ‘tribe’, drift off and occasionally meet again down the road.

We all weren’t sure if we could deal with the nomadic way of life as something permanent. We appreciated Siobhan Daniels’ uplifting message to us about her lifestyle change and the circumstances that led to her selling up and touring the country in her campervan.

Our discussion leader finished by telling us that “It’s a wrap!” stood for ‘wind reel and print.’ Off we went home to our bricks and mortar houses.


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Jan 19, 2022

From a technical point of view, the photography was superb - I thought the use of ‘magic hour’ for the desert scenes was masterful. Using real interiors, rather than studio sets, preserved the organic feel of the film and the camerawork - with a couple of exceptions [I found the scenes in the deserted office and house at the very end to be a little clumsy for some reason. Maybe the rooms were just too physically small for the available lenses?] - appeared effortless, fully vindicating the use of hand-held cameras with the inevitable slight wobble.

From a narrative point of view, it was as good a road movie as I’ve ever seen; there was no beginning and no end…


Jan 16, 2022

The theme of this film, a 'hybrid of a fiction and fact is the lives of those who take to the road in the USA to pursue a nomadic existence where you don't ever say goodbye to anyone but instead "see you down the road". Two professional actors Francis MacDormand and David [..... ] are both very well known and the rest of the cast play themselves or someone very like themselves as revealed in the cast list at the end where their screen names are completed by their own. "Cheri" is Cheryl [..... ] for instance [ ] being what I can't remember! Not surprisingly being a nomad is a metaphor as much as a life style choice a…

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