Nomadland ★★★

2021 Films, Ranked


Zhao makes the choice to not lean in too heavily here. her coordination with a top-tier performance from McDormand brings authenticity sans misery, but it works best in the scenes with her and straithairn. quiet moments with non-actors work at times, but are half-baked at best. despite the issues, parts shine. 

of those issues.. not sure how i feel about the ethics of this story and Zhao’s role in perpetuating the myth of american hope & ingenuity. it all but ignores what caused the situation in the first place. its an outsider looking in, coming off as condescending as it romanticizes poverty and the gig economy in a way that has only soured on me as i reflect on the film. it’s sanctioned by the evil corporation it’s supposedly excoriating — she films within an amazon warehouse and uses their branding — which should be evidence enough of its toothless stance.

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