This Sunday I decided to watch a movie that was quite the hit in the cinema world these months. Usually, I do not watch movies that are” Oscar-bait” because there is so much hype around them (and sometimes for no reason) or they do not reach the expectations created.
Unfortunately, Nomadland falls into this category. The movie is directed by Chloé Zhao, a relatively new filmmaker. She has around other 3 or 4 movies. At this point, I do not take into consideration watching her other movies.
Without further ado, let’s jump right into the review.
What’s up with this movie?
Basically, nothing or almost nothing is good about it. I think most of the stuff is just average. The story revolves around a woman who decided to live her life on the road after the death of her husband. She has no strings attached, so why not? She is also old, so why not spend what remains of her life on the road?
I think the premise is good, but then it is just plain. There are some cute moments when you can see how happy she is, or how grateful she is. Other moments have a warm or comfy feeling (for example, when more people get together around the fire and tell stories). Other moments just feel forced, and those moments make you space out. The actors were good, but not outstanding.
The movie has some lyrical moments, with wonderful scenery (and I think that’s the good part) but then it cuts off directly to some forced lines of dialogue, feelings, or actions. There are like two moments that not only are they forced, but also they seem nonsense.
The dialogue was okay, with some lines better than others. I liked the poetry.
The soundtrack was nice too, country music or blues go well with the nomad life.
Overall, it is well-filmed.
What bothered me was how she chose to deliver the message. The director, the crew, or whoever was in charge, tried to deliver a message to the audience but is so messy that I do not know if people understood. At some point, the narrative is slightly changed, and it just feels pushed. But then it gets back on track, and it makes you slightly confused.
To sum up, good points: some scenes that are more poetic and feel like what the movies wanted to be and the filming. The biggest problem: it is an aimless movie. If she wanted it to be a documentary, it should have been made like that. If she wanted it to be a more poetic movie, it should have been made that. Something in between is not what you should go for.
What is interesting about this movie is that it is based on a book that contains the stories, thoughts and ideas of the characters. Some actors are even real-life persons! Maybe, if you feel like watching it, you should not judge it so harshly.
The movie’s length is 1h47m, so you can watch it almost anytime. You might feel that the pace is slower than expected, or that not many things happen, but it depends on what you want to watch.
I cannot say that I recommend it because of the problems that it has, but if you still want to check it out, make sure you are ready for almost two hours of stillness and comfy music.
Throughout the movie, I saw that she knows something, and she wants to express something, but she does not know how to do it to feel natural. I hope that the director will keep directing movies, and improve herself because you can see that she is talented. She also has a keen eye for atmospheric, poetic elements.
If you’d rather watch something else, I recommend this.