Oscars Special: Pilgrimage and social problems in ‘Nomadland’

Nomadland is one of the films with the most nominations for the Oscars 2021 , and in LatinAmerican Post we tell you some details of the script, production and direction that place it as one of the best films that 2020 left us .

Frame from the film 'Nomaland'

Nomadland is positioned as the favorite film for the upcoming Oscars ceremony. Photo: YT-20th Century Studios LA

LatinAmerican Post | Christopher Ramírez

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Leer en español: Especial Óscars: Peregrinaje y la problemática social en ‘Nomadland’

On April 25, the 93rd annual Oscar Awards ceremony will be held, and from now on, Nomadland is positioned as the favorite film. This film, produced by Searchlight Pictures, was crowned the most important of the 78th edition of the Golden Globes, receiving from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) the awards for 'Best Film 'and' Best Director ', the latter given to its director Chloé Zhao.

Thanks to this, it is not a surprise that Nomadland will position itself as one of the films with the most nominations in the Oscars, six in total:

  1. Best film
  2. Best direction
  3. Best actress
  4. Best Adapted Screenplay
  5. Best Editing
  6. Best photography

With this in mind, in LatinAmerican Post we make a small review of this film, and we tell you some details of the script, production and direction that position it as one of the best films that 2020 left us.

Nomadland: a social problem

"It is a pilgrimage for pain and healing […] a difficult and beautiful journey," said Chloé Zhao, in statements collected by El Periódico, just after Nomadland , distributed by Searchlight and Hulu, was announced as the best Dramatic Movie of the Year at the Golden Globes.

Nomadland had just won the Venice and Toronto Festivals with such strong acclaim that a Golden Globes triumph seemed inevitable, and so many experts on the Oscars think.

However, to say that it is the favorite based on the result obtained in the Golden Globes, would be to limit and ignore that hundreds of film critics have ended up endorsing this hypothesis. Whether in the United States, Latin America or Spain, Nomadland has managed to conquer the hearts of viewers by bringing them closer to a story that could be considered unknown in the eyes of many, but anecdotal at the same time.

Also read: Oscars Special: Racial Tension in Judas and the Black Messiah

For Luis Martínez, a journalist for El Mundo de España, Nomadland is summed up as the "story of a nomad, of a traveler who has made mistakes, in its double meaning of making mistakes and going from one place to another, her way of being in the world".

"The story of a woman (Frances McDormand) who during the time of the last recession in the United States loses everything and changes her life, traveling with a caravan through rural areas", is how El País de Spain. And it is that Nomadland turns out to be an enveloping story for hundreds of people who, for example, due to the pandemic due to the new coronavirus have had to look for new ways of trying to earn a living, outsourcing work being one of the most viable options; perhaps not the best, but the most affordable to do.

A woman who has nothing to lose, since she has already lost everything (her husband, her job and even her town), decides to undertake an adventure as a “nomad”, participating in a caravan of unemployed whose only way out is outsourcing. Thus, Amazon (the highest representative of this type of work) plays the "villain" in this story.

But, as is to be expected in a film of this caliber, its success depends not only on the script that is used but on the direction that is given to it; which is why Chloé Zhao will be fighting for the 'Best Director' award on April 25th.

The mixture of professionalism and "non-professionalism" is what offers the touch of reality and empathy of this film, which has already obtained a 94% acceptance by critics on the famous site Rotten Tomatoes.

Lindsey Bahr, a film critic for The Associated Press (AP), indicates that, although in most of her work “Zhao has been attracted to non-professional actors, which she uses very well,” Nomadland has reached her peak of grace due to "To the addition of seasoned talent, like David Strathairn in a great supporting role, who knows how to inhabit the screen."

The naturalness of its artists makes the film capture the attention of the viewer and that this can be identified with the economic and labor crisis that not only invades the United States, but the entire world. Outsourcing is something that is not only seen in the West of North America, but Latin American, Asian and African countries feel strongly identified with a style of work in which the free market industry is strengthened, at the cost of the freedom of their own workers.

In this way, Nomadland has become a production that has shown a new face of Frances McDormand, much more passive and willing to listen to the stories of characters who become her life companions; representatives of a social problem that forces them to be "nomads", in contrast to a country in which the needs of the typical sedentary people of the 21st century are law.

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