Expected end of the year with the next Marvel, Eternals, Chloe Zhao crosses the path of recognition brilliantly. With her latest Oscar winner and Golden Lion in Venice, the Chinese director and screenwriter offers a gripping road-trip, moving bestiary of nomadic life.
After the economic collapse of the working-class city of Nevada where she lived, Fern decides to hit the road in his campervan and adopt a modern nomadic life, breaking with the standards of today’s society. From meeting to meeting, Fern is reborn and initiates his discovery of the vast expanses of the American West.
Shot in a small team, the exact opposite of the blockbuster directed by Zhao, NOMADLAND is meant to reflect a forgotten part of American society. This part invisible to those who see Uncle Sam as the land of dreams, of glamor. Where it is good to live. The Declaration of Independence of the United States moreover says: ” We consider that these truths are obvious, that all men were created equal, that they were endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights which are in particular Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. “. And it is in the quest for it that the character of Fern, interpreted by the dazzling Frances mcdorman, permanently resides. Through her emancipation, the sixty-year-old goes from job to job, from season to season, fighting against the ageism suffered by people of this age. A theme that is inevitably linked to the Chinese director, the respect and the valuation of the elders being much more important in Asia than on the American continent. Halfway between fiction and documentary, as it already was The Rider, NOMADLAND celebrates old age in the most beautiful desert landscapes that Arizona and California reserve.
In addition to highlighting the pursuit of happiness and beauty in the third age, the film portrays goodbyes and reverse autophobia. Under its western airs, NOMADLAND sketches Fern’s second life. That of an isolated woman who prefers to be alone rather than having to say “goodbye” to those she loves and will love. Maybe this is the challenge of being a backpacker. The bravery and daring to leave without possibly never coming back. The wind of Brokeback Mountain seemingly quietly blowing this intimate drama adored by festivals. They are also the secondary protagonists of the film Zaho which underline this shy authenticity which makes Fern, an endearing and detached woman. An initiatory journey which, beyond its lengths, makes us wander to the notes of Ludovico Einaudi.
Chloe Zhao will therefore soon find dark rooms, with a blinding contrast, to unveil his 100% American superhero film that is Eternals. A strange similarity with one of the flagship plans of NOMADLAND : that of an old woman consumed with time crossing the street is on the bill of a certain Avengers… Simple wink or real debate launched. Still, between the sumptuous shadows of the American Way Of Life, the drama distributed by the Walt Disney Company has everything of a great independent film. What concludes on the most beautiful replica of this road movie: ” No, I am not homeless. I am … homeless “. Agnes Varda would have loved it.
• Original title : Nomadland
• Production : Chloe Zaho
• Casting: Frances McDormand, David Strathairn, Gay DeForest
• Release date (France): June 09, 2021
• Duration: 1h 48min
• Gender: Drama
• Nationality: American