Oscar-bait to the core, “Nomadland” already been named best film of the year by at least 13 critics groups, has been Oscar’s Best Picture front-runner since early fall, and is nominated for best drama at the Golden Globes.
The incredible Frances McDormand stars as a widow who embarks on a journey in her van through the American West after losing everything in the recession. Text at the beginning of the film tells us that in 2011, faced with a declining demand for sheetrock, US Gypsum shut its plant in Empire, Nev., which had been a company town for 88 years. The company closed the town and told the workers who had lived there that they had to leave, since the company owned the houses, too.
That’s all true, and many of the people who populate this moving and meditative film are real, too. It’s not a documentary, but it’s not really fiction, either.
“Nomadland” is a chronicle of the Great Recession that plays like a quietly thoughtful, real-life “Grapes of Wrath,” with McDormand’s Fern as its understated Tom Joad – strong, resolute, haunting. Rated R.
Fri., March 19, 3 & 7 pm; Sat. March 20, 7 pm; Sun. March 21, 3 & 7 pm