Director Chloe Zhao’s third feature, Nomadland, landed on the Lido this morning as one of the final movies to screen in competition at the Venice Film Festival. Reviews are embargoed for another several hours on the exploration of modern-day, van-dwelling life on the road, but what I can say is that there was energetic and sustained applause at the press screening I attended. … [Read more...] about ‘Nomadland’: Frances McDormand & Chloe Zhao On Being Docents For The Van-Dwelling Community – Venice
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The film is based on Jessica Bruder’s 2017 non-fiction book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century, and finds McDormand acting alongside some of the real people Bruder chronicles in her book: Linda May, Charlene Swankie and Bob Wells. Actor David Strathairn also stars in the film. … [Read more...] about Frances McDormand Heads West in New ‘Nomadland’ Teaser
Nomadland is interested in the forlorn, the left-behinds, the no-hopers; they have always been with us, but perhaps not this conspicuously since the 1930s. While the life trajectories of the people onscreen are not delineated in much detail, the dominant impression, starting with Fern, is of once-stable, income-producing people whom American society has failed. This is sad tale, gentle rather than intent on finger-pointing or sociological analysis; it’s not a political tract but it’s hard to imagine many people watching this film and not coming out of it feeling that there’s something in the country—and perhaps the world–quite out of alignment. … [Read more...] about Film Review: Chloé Zhao’s ‘Nomadland’ Starring Frances McDormand
One Night in Miami, which Amazon has not yet dated but which is definitely in the race this year, provides Regina King some juicy material for her directorial debut, and this three-time Emmy-winning and Oscar-winning star proves really adept in giving her actors room to deliver powerful turns in the dialogue-heavy story of a meeting of four Black icons in 1964 the night of Cassius Clay’s defeat over Sonny Liston to become Heavyweight Champion of the World. Malcolm X, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Clay all meet in a hotel room and discuss many topics related to their responsibility in standing up for their race in the heat of the Civil Rights Movement. It is based on Kemp Powers inventive stage play and the playwright also got to adapt it, a drama that imagines the conversation between the four icons who really did meet that night in Miami. The next day Clay joined the Islamic religion so this was obviously a momentous gathering, and kudos to Kemp for discovering it and its rich … [Read more...] about Oscars: Fall Film Fest Circuit Aims To Promote Early Contenders McDormand, Winslet, Hopkins, King, And More – But Is It Just Too Damn Early?
Collaborating with her regular cinematographer Joshua James Richards, Zhao blurs the line between narrative and vérité documentary. She frames her subjects against majestic landscapes and gorgeous watercolor sunsets but never aestheticizes nature for postcard effect. Their considerable grandeur and drama aside, these lonely roads, rugged mountains and rocky deserts are an intrinsic part of the travelers' lives, never a sightseeing panorama. A simple shot of Fern floating naked in a river, or another in which she's behind the wheel while a bison runs along beside the road, suggest the strength and independence she's drawing from nature. … [Read more...] about ‘Nomadland’: Film Review | Venice 2020