(TJ=75, Critics=93, Users=77)
We gave this art flick a high score of 75 (users scores 77, “green” rating = 60), based on Francis McDormand’s great acting, in which she was bravely willing to look old and haggy, pee in the bushes, crap in a five gallon bucket and swim naked‒all cinema verité scenes about America’s real life modern day nomads who are dumped by society to live on the road. McDormand does everything on her yearly migration around the country from shipping Christmas rush packages at Amazon to harvesting sweet potatoes‒in the beginning because she has to, and then because she wants to. The movie is very slow with much of the “acting” coming from real life people reciting lines written by new age writers. At first depressing, the movie becomes uplifting as the characters live the life they have with good spirit and camaraderie‒free of most material worries. In retrospect, it is a good movie that gets better as you think about it later.
Twenty one critics gave it a perfect 100 score. Except for Josh Larson, they thankfully passed on this grand opportunity to opine on America’s “capitalist” curse. A.O. Scott of The N.Y. Times said, “Nomadland is patient, compassionate and open, motivated by an impulse to wander and observe rather than to judge or explain.” Only one idiot, Natalia Keogan of Paste (whatever that is), blamed the plight of the characters on Jeff Bezos and called the movie “toothless.”
Our go to reviewers also liked “Nomadland:” Mick LaSalle (75), James Berardinelli (75), Roger Moore (88) and Mike Scott (80). Moore: “Nomadland is an instant indie classic and one of the best films of 2020.” Berardinelli: “Nomadland makes up for its meandering, sometimes maddeningly slow place with its insights about human nature and its incisive portrait of indomitability.”