Jessica Bruder and Bob Wells on NOMADLAND – Sandie Angulo Chen interviews

Knowing the fascinating backstory of Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland gives audiences additional appreciation of this film’s unique style and universal appeal. Sandie Angulo Chen get the inside scoop from two of the film’s backstory principals, Jessica Bruder who wrote the book behind the adapted script and Bob Wells, a Nomad clan leader who added his own unique voice to the screenplay. Both were mentioned by Chloe Zhao in her Golden Globes acceptance speech. Sandie Angulo Chen chats with Bruder and Wells for their take on Nomadland.

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NOMADLAND – Review by Martha K Baker

Anyone who saw director Chloé Zhao’s impressive film, The Rider, expects her imprint to embellish, her choices to be signatory. Zhao’s screenplay, although based on Jessica Bruder’s eye-opening exposé about the lives of older, rootless workers, skews Bruder’s emphasis to Zhao’s. Like The Rider, Nomadland amalgamates documentary with narrative forms of film.

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NOMADLAND – Review by Susan Granger

In this migrant drama, Chloe Zhao paints a subtle portrait of a resilient woman determined to survive despite devastating loss. Widowed, 61 year-old Fern (Frances McDormand) lost everything in the 2008 financial collapse, including her home and her job in now-deserted Empire, Nevada. So she sets out alone across the American West in her ramshackle Ford Econoline van, joining a caravan of modern-day nomads, a rag-tag community, squatting in RV parks.

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NOMADLAND – Review by Leslie Combemale

The film examines the phenomenon of travelers going across the country in search of work, through the lens of a widow named Fern (McDormand), who lives in her van. Other than co-star David Strathairn, who plays a fellow nomad, the secondary characters are played by real people on the nomad community. McDormand, Zhao, and crew members lived out of vans during production. The result is a film that is beautiful and sad and unique. It will blow you away. 

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WEEK IN WOMEN: Chloe Zhao’s NOMADLAND Update – Brandy McDonnell reports

Chloé Zhao’s acclaimed drama Nomadland, starring Oscar winner Frances McDormand, made its NY premiere on September 26 as the Centerpiece film at the 58th New York Film Festival, Earlier this month, the film was lauded with the Golden Lion this year at the 77th Venice International Film Festival and awarded the Grolsch People’s Choice Award at the 45th Toronto International Film Festival. It is the first film to hold both honors.

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NOMADLAND (TIFF20) – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Who but Frances McDormand could take on such mundane tasks as making peanut butter sandwiches, cleaning toilets and packing merchandise into Amazon boxes and transform such moments into a riveting cinematic experience? The two-time Oscar-winning best-actress for 1996’s Fargo and 2017’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is at the top of her game in filmmaker Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland.

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A LOVE SONG – Review by Martha K Baker

A Love Song is what film buffs call a “little movie.” Barely 90 minutes. One setting. One day. No car chases. No heavy breathing. No climax. Not even much dialogue in the script by Max Walker-Silverman. What this little movie has, however, is presence. Faye has been a widow for seven years. She is lonely, still. Her face reads as craggy as the hills. She is encamped on a plain in Colorado, and she dines on what she fishes out of the lake. Faye studies two reference books — one on bird songs for day and the other about stars for night.

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A LOVE SONG – Review by JENNIFER GREEN

A Love Song is a study in minimalism sustained by an understated, deeply authentic performance by veteran Dale Dickey and stunning natural scenery. The film is less a character study and more a meditation on time – how we spend it, how we remember it and how it passes us by. Writer-director Max Walker-Silverman and cinematographer Alfonso Herrera Salcedo express the theme through symmetrical storytelling and shots, lingering on moments and settings with focus and intentionality.

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WEEK IN WOMEN: CODA, BLACK WIDOW and others Receive ReFrame Stamp – Brandy McDonnell reports

This year’s best picture Academy Award winner CODA, 2021 best picture Oscar winner Nomadland and fellow Academy Award winners The Power of the Dog, Encanto, Cruella and West Side Story have met the criteria to receive the ReFrame Stamp.

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THE UNKNOWN COUNTRY (SXSW 2022) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

If the name Lily Gladstone doesn’t already make you sit up because of her involvement in the much-anticipated forthcoming Martin Scorsese film Killers of the Flower Moon, then her central performance in Morrisa Maltz’s The Unknown Country should be enough to convince you on its own merits. Having previously appeared in roles of varying sizes in Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow and Certain Women, Gladstone is surely not an unfamiliar face for those with a taste for US indie fare. But it is The Unknown Country where she takes center stage and, in collaboration with Maltz and her numerous co-stars, gives The Unknown Country a sense of enormous depth and gravity.

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