Nomadland [Grade: B+]

Director: Chloé Zhao

Cast: Frances McDormand & David Strathairn

* * *

This is another of 3 films on my list that I am planning to check out during March due to the many positive conversations I’ve seen across my social media. So this is the film that won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, Drama, huh? 

I didn’t see any of the other films nominated in the category to really know if it was TRULY the BEST Picture out of the bunch; but something tells, me from only seeing #Nomadland, that it wasn’t. And this isn’t to say that #Nomadland was bad, it wasn’t (I found the story to be beautiful, yet gritty), but it didn’t have the strongest pacing and plot. 

* * *

Below are my grades for key components in #Nomadland that I find to be key in any story/film—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development. I think it is also important for me to add that moving forward, I will not include a plus-rating in my breakdown, but will continue with minus-ratings.

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), & Don’t Rush.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale.

* * *

Theme: A

Plot: B

Pacing: B-

Character Arc/Development: A

Entertainment Factor: Interesting Enough

* * *


1. The premise for the story is fascinating. I never knew anything about that, and it’s a little eery to know something like that has, and can happen. 🤭

2. I found the many visuals of the environment to be breathtaking. 🙌🏾🙌🏾

3. The friendship between Fern and Linda May was so cute! I really loved them together! 😩👍🏾

4. That flirting was so awkward and cute… awwwww, Dave! 🥰

5. Not sure if it was just me, but at one point I wondered if Fern was on the spectrum… if so, that adds an entirely different layer to certain themes of this story. 🤔

6. Although the scenery was beautiful, and was an important aspect to the theme and plot, the film felt like a slow-dance that was going a little too long. 🤷🏾‍♂️

7. This is possibly a minority particularity, as well as a particularity from those who don’t come from/have affluent connections, but I felt like the climax of the plot was pretty bleh because “Dolly” existed. 🤷🏾‍♂️😒

8. Wow, I wanna go where the Swallow nests are…that looked so amazing. It reminds me of this beautiful cliff when driving into Atlanta…I can’t quite remember the highway, but if you know…you know. 😩🙌🏾

9. I appreciated the ending visit… 👍🏾

10. I definitely enjoyed Frances McDormand’s performance. 👍🏾

11. Hmmm…I think I’d want to live that Nomad life for 1 month. Some aspects of it looked relaxing and interesting. 😩👍🏾

12. Really, government? Talk about the history of leeching continuing… 🤦🏾‍♂️

13. The themes were developed so well! I love a story with solid thematic followthrough. 🙌🏾

14. Was it just me, or was there an editing glitch in the background while Fern was talking with Bob Wells about his son? 👀🤨

* * *

Overall, #Nomadland was definitely a beautiful and eye opening story. I think it might even be the big winner at the Oscars, but for another reason supported by the story… …(I noticed that the “actors” were actually the real life Nomads, I think…)

There’s a documentary aspect to it that I also appreciated, and again, it was visually appealing. I honestly would have enjoyed it more as a documentary because of the pacing, though.  

Additionally, I personally would have preferred more focus on the challenges that came with the climactic situation to help all types of audiences resonate with this woman who was accepting and choosing this Nomad life over her privilege…and maybe because her privilege also allows her the ability to choose the life…??

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