Caius Gracchus’s review published on Letterboxd:
Death does not make life worth living. Death is simply the end of life - an unfortunate circumstance of existence that stops us from living the life we want to live, with the people we want to live it with, and the achievements we feel the need to gift the world.
Dedicated to all those who are dead, Nomadland's characters tell us that there is no final goodbye, and that we will see those lost "down the road" - a truly powerful catharsis that puts us all on the same journey, every moment being meaningful, every irrelevant detail, every throwing of a rock into a campfire in memory of someone, being little pieces of momentum that build to the ecstatic truth of human life, and the beauty of life in its totality.
It is only fitting that so much of this film occurs in nature - showing its sublime beauty, power and freedom through sight and sound like no other films in my memory. As Fern stands at the rocky shores in an uncannily relatable experience of sheer existential bliss, part of the cascading sea, blown back - powerless in its infinite glory - the film itself becomes an extension of that flooring, mindful and natural landscape, transported in front of your very eyes. Such moments of powerlessness remind us that we are but little pieces of long gone stars, cascading with the universe.
Dedicated to all those that we "will see down the road," Nomadland is a film that needs to exist, a film that without, the world would be incomplete!
The music vibrating in perfect symphony with your heart, the images built for your eyes to soak in their entirety - an example of a moment of perfection of this art form - Nomadland is built to be an ultimate statement of the beauty of life, by design. The medium here is the message. Fulfilling, genuine (all characters but the rawly and viscerally powerfully acted Fern and Dave are real people) and emotionally resonant at every moment; a literal slice of life through the masterful editing and writing that makes you feel like a sudden, uninvited guest in these peoples' lives; Nomadland is a piece of humanity gifted to each of us to passionately realise ourselves in.
Don't worry about your death! Don't worry about your legacy! Don't worry about all that you regret, forgot to do, couldn't achieve - live! Plant seeds, do not dig up corpses. Existence is enough! Embrace your part in the universe, and drive where your heart takes you! Walk up to the mountains you always knew and felt like reaching! Not doing that, dwelling on loss, is the greatest loss in itself.