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  1. Andrew


    I miss Joel Mayward's presence on the board, as one of the strongest Malick partisans and immense admirer of Zhao's previous film The Rider. I'm guessing he'd have plenty to say about Nomadland. Anywho, this is presently my favorite fiction feature of 2020, as I delighted in its love for its characters, its visual beauty, its humanism. When discussing David Byrne's American Utopia earlier this week, I expressed skepticism that much cinema succeeds in a persuasive function these days. Off the top of my head, I can think of two films in 2020 that changed my mind on a subject (Crazy Not Insane on the reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder, and The Reason I Jump on the intellectual capacity of nonverbal individuals with autism). Far more common are the films that deepen my empathy or enlighten me about segments of the human experience or our universe of which I was ignorant. Nomadland falls wonderfully into the latter category. Before researching my review, I had no idea there were 10s of 1000s of older Americans who've taken to a nomadic existence, whether due to economic suffering, seeking a balm for psychological distress, or out of wanderlust. This film immerses us so effectively in that experience; besides McDormand and a couple of others, nearly all of the individuals we meet are non-actors portraying versions of themselves. And what visual and musical beauty. The cinematographer is Zhao's longtime boyfriend; for their own happiness and for our aesthetic wellbeing, long may they stay together. I wasn't familiar with composer Ludovico Einaudi until this film, but his quietly joyous music with its wandering melodies is a perfect fit here. Here's my full review: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/secularcinephile/2020/11/nomadland-is-a-work-of-rare-beauty-a-humanistic-gem/
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