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 new teaser for Nomadland doesn’t offer much in the way of plot, but it does capture the film’s distinct vibe. It comprises a single shot of Fern walking through a campground filled with RVs and vans as the sun fades below the mountains in the distance. At one point, Linda calls over to Fern, inviting her to join a group sitting around a campfire, but Fern declines and continues to wander through the expanse. … [Read more...] about Frances McDormand Heads West in New ‘Nomadland’ Teaser
There are ways in which I somewhat prefer Zhao’s two previous films, mainly because they center on people whose Western lifestyles remain connected to those of many previous generations of Americans—cowboys, oil drillers, ranchers and farmers, homesteaders, anyone who works with animals—but now have been bypassed by technology and utterly changed times. The homeless, rootless people on view in Nomadland summon up memories of the itinerants and vagabonds of the Great Depression years, but at least two factors are different: Many of the modern-era vagabonds possess vehicles, even if they have no money, and the dominant personalities tend to be women, although that impression could simply stem from Zhao having decided to focus more upon them (the only other name actor here, David Strathairn, plays a taciturn guy clearly interested in Fern but who gets nowhere). … [Read more...] about Film Review: Chloé Zhao’s ‘Nomadland’ Starring Frances McDormand
I know at least one major buyer who is chomping at the bit to lock in the impressive, if very dark, drama Pieces of a Woman, which stars Shia LaBeouf, Vanessa Kirby, and Ellen Burstyn. It is the stark story of a pregnancy turned tragic, with the resulting trial of a midwife (Molly Parker) at the center of a devastating English language debut from Hungarian director Kornel Mundruczo and a script from Kata Weber. The pair have made a deeply personal movie, set in Boston, that will knock you out. Mundruczo won the top prize at Un Certain Regard at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival for his stunning White God, another remarkable movie centered on the revenge of a pack of dogs that simply blew me away when it saw it at the Fest that year. This one did the same thing, and any buyer who wins the bidding war will have certain Oscar nominations for Kirby and 88-year-old Burstyn, as good as both have ever been on screen. Kirby is a genuine contender for a prize at Venice. It plays TIFF … [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?
The film's gentle drift has echoes of a long-ago cowboy campfire trail, with strangers passing in and out of one another's lives, without barriers, trading cigarettes, sandwiches or tools, sharing stories about the trauma in their past and the tranquility they've found in open spaces. One of the loveliest examples of this involves a young off-the-grid drifter (Derek Endres), who bums a cigarette off Fern and then crosses her path again months later, opening up about himself and prompting her own tender recollection of the Shakespeare sonnet she recited as part of her wedding vows. … [Read more...] about ‘Nomadland’: Film Review | Venice 2020