Nomadland

I HAVEN’T READ many reviews of Nomadland, but I believe the praise has been comparable to that of such “indie” successes as Roma and Moonlight. Golden Globes are tonight, though a total joke and this year more than ever with recent LA Times, NYT and Huffington Post stories exposing (yet again) the Hollywood Foreign Press Assoc. as a corrupt storefront of “critics” — like FIFA, built on bribery as modus operandi. But Hollywood is happy to go along with the scam — merely another line-item in promotion and advertising.

Nomadland might get a bump, who knows? But Frances McDormand doesn’t dress up even for the Oscars; I can’t imagine she will get out of her sweats to Zoom the Globes.

REAL CRITICS might try to separate the socioeconomic backdrop of Nomadland from Fern’s personal story of loss and existential angst. To me it was an elusive blend, which gradually took on its own mesmerizing force as the film progressed, no matter that all character questions were not answered or economic factors examined Paul Krugman style. It’s a movie, and a poetic one, with its meaning more than the sum of its parts, or that’s how it hit me and stayed with me.

I was struck by the Times Literary Supplement critic who found echoes of John Ford — and even cinematic quotes from The Searchers— in director Chloe Zhou’s scenario. I need to see The Searchers again. I can’t imagine it has music as good as the restless score by Ludovico Einaudi that Zhou found for Nomadland. Essential to the film’s mood and effect.

I DO BELIEVE if we don’t raise the minimum wage, there will be more caravans of temp workers like Fern grazing across an Interstate landscape stripped of hope and dreams. Not sure why Biden and Harris can’t send the parliamentarian to lunch and push that bill through.

About Sean Mitchell

SEAN MITCHELL is a journalist, critic and former staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Herald Examiner and Dallas Times Herald. His articles and reviews have also appeared in The New York Times, New York Magazine, and other publications. Born in Bethlehem, Pa., he grew up in Dallas and is a graduate of St. Mark’s School of Texas and Brown University. He lives in Dallas.
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