Nomadland: 2021 Oscar Winning Worthy?

Aimee Gonsalves, Contributor

Nomandland, a film that came out in early 2021, directed by Chloé Zhao and starring actress Frances McDormand, won best picture for the 2021 Oscars. The genre of  the movie is a drama, western and an indie film. It is a beautiful film with incredible cinematography.  

The movie starts with the main character named Fern, played by Frances McDormand, who has just lost everything in her life. Fern is a charming character who tries to find out how to be a good person and starts living in her van after hitting the road. She eventually becomes involved with a group of modern nomads, but she finds herself alone again as she travels across America. It’s a stunning film that shifts between a peaceful depiction of the beauty of the world and being realistic about a character we don’t often see in movies. 

The director, Chloé Zhao, hired non-actors to appear in her film. This is a clear indication of her outstanding commitment to delivering that reality. Several real people describe their stories throughout Nomadland, explaining why they became real-life nomads and providing an enlightening, inspirational perspective on life. This is the film’s most engaging and emotionally compelling part. Learning who these individuals are and what motivates them is exceptional—removing all false and harmful assumptions that we might have before watching this movie.

Nomadland tells a thoughtful, informative, and heartwarming narrative about a nomad’s life, with real-life characters that add to the film’s uniqueness.  Chloé Zhao is the first woman of color and the first Chinese woman to win for best director. Not only did this movie win best picture but Frances McDormand won for best actress as well. The lack of dialogue in this film also adds to its uniqueness, making you focus on the beautiful landscapes, crisp camera angels, and excellent soundtrack.  


Overall I would recommend this movie to everyone. It is one of the most beautiful and calming films I’ve ever seen. This is not the movie to watch if you’re feeling an action-packed thriller; it is a relatively slow-paced film. But all and all, I rate this movie a 8.7/10. It is well worth a fantastic fall movie night!