Nomadland ★★★★

"I'm not homeless. I'm just houseless."
- Fern

This is my first Chloé Zhao film and I'm super impressed. In what is essentially a film about an old woman travelling across the states after losing everything during the financial collapse of her hometown in Nevada, Zhao extracts an incredibly deep array of feelings.

For some reason, and don't ask me why as I still haven't figured it out, my eyes kept leaking during key scenes in this wonderfully shot 107 minutes. The camerawork is spectacular, and I'd be really surprised if Joshua James Richards doesn't get a nod in the awards season as a result. Combined with an eerily sombre soundtrack, the emotional impact of Nomadland is incredible.

This was a strange and moving experience in the cinema at an early release screening, as Melbourne tippy-toes it's way carefully through a post-lockown state. Everyone was still wearing masks, keeping their distance and generally being respectful. The joy felt during the screening from the people in the room was palpable though, like we all just wanted to have a group hug or something. That was in part due to the circumstance, but definitely mostly due to the film which had me thinking deeply about the past, family, loss and how I should make more of the time I have. I'll be calling Mum tonight :)

I won't attempt to explain the storyline here as it's best experienced cold. I've been hiding from the reviews and trailers for a while now and am really glad I did. Two things I'd suggest if you've not seen this yet.

1. Do NOT watch on a crappy / illegal HD Rip as this will entirely devoid the sense of joy from the cinematics. This is a fantastic movie, and people have clearly worked really hard to bring this to market in an incredibly difficult year and they need all the help they can get. So, if you can, watch it on the big screen when it arrives (or hang out for a legit stream at least).

2. Eat before you watch it. This is a film with long, quiet periods and the popcorn eaters in front of me were struggling to find a spot to have a munch without disturbing the intentional silence.

Other than that, enjoy. This is an absolute work of art and a dead cert nom for the Best Picture.

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