Nomadland (2020) directed by Chloé Zhao is the winner of the 78th Golden Globe Awards for the Best Motion Picture – Drama and for the Best Director. Fern, a widowed lady who is living in her van and driving through the country taking up the odd jobs and meeting interesting people on the way. The film goes through Fern’s year being on the road in detail after the mining town she had through her married life had become a ghost one.
Though her family and friends offer her to stay in their nice homes, Fern is unable to be comfortable anywhere fixed, she sees herself as a nomad. Covering the everyday lives of Fern, the movie starts as a documentary but gradually presents her life.
Though the portrayed lifestyle is intriguing it is not for everyone; for one I am unable to see myself without a roof over my head and a permanent address I can call home. In fact, I can not even operate for two weeks on my son’s laptop when I didn’t have access to my PC which was in my house under repairs.
In RVs, there are inbuilt toilets but in the van used by Fern, there are none. And in a few places she parks there are no fixed toilets, the film presents an answer to that question – the nomads use a five-gallon bucket!
Frances McDormand whose earlier film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) had also won the Golden Globe award, has done a good job in living as Fern on screen. She was able to make us feel her anguish and loneliness. In the end, Fern goes back to her house in the abandoned town and it was heart-wrenching to see her enter the place, but the final view of the mountains behind her house was beautiful and a fitting end to a fine film.