It usually takes a second viewing for me to really know how I really feel about a film. In the case of writer/director Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland, my revisit found me welling up with tears throughout. That doesn’t happen to me very often, and I didn’t expect it to happen here. That response left little doubt in my mind that this beautiful work is my favorite film of the year.
Based on a non-fiction book by Jessica Bruder that chronicled the lives of “vandwellers” left behind by a crumbling economy, Nomadland frames its story around the fictional Fern (Frances McDormand), a widow who takes to the road after losing her company housing to the recession.