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Oscars frontrunner Nomadland chronicles the working-class despair wrought by US capitalism, but still manages to kiss Amazon’s ass

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‘Nomadland’, starring Frances McDormand and written and directed by Chloé Zhao, tells the story of Fern, an older woman who lives in a van and survives as a seasonal worker in various locales across America.

The film, which is currently in theaters and streaming on Hulu, is based on the non-fiction book ‘Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century’, and uses some of those whose stories are told in it to play themselves.

It’s a fantastic watch, and an Oscars frontrunner, but it’s not for everybody. It’s an arthouse, verité-style film with a loose narrative structure that lacks predictable dramatic beats. It’s less a straightforward story than a melancholy and mournful meditation.

And it’s the subject of that meditation – American capitalism, impermanence, and grief – that makes ‘Nomadland’ such an intriguing piece of cinema.

The story begins with Fern being forced to leave her long-time residence in Empire, Nevada, after the town’s United States Gypsum plant closes and the once-bustling area is abandoned. She takes to the road to run from her grief over losing Empire and her husband, and travels throughout the west, searching for seasonal employment. She makes friends with fellow travelers, all suffering in similar circumstances, as she lives out of her van while working menial jobs in Nevada, Arizona, Nebraska, and South Dakota.

The sense of isolation........

© RT.com

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