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Nomadland Review: I Have To Admit I Didn’t Love It

Nomadland is a movie that is being raved about by almost everyone who sees it, but do I think it is worth a watch?

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Several of my friends saw Nomadland before me and could not say enough positive things about it. This had me very excited to watch it, but unfortunately, I think it set my expectations too high. The movie is only an hour and forty-five minutes and I found myself struggling to pay attention. It dragged on a bit, and was boring, and quite frankly, depressing. 

Nomadland is about a woman named Fern, played by Frances McDormand, who goes on a journey around the country after losing nearly everything in the 2008 recession. Her town literally no longer exists, as the zipcode was removed, which is something that actually happened. Nomadland follows her as she meets other nomads and discusses their lives with them. What brought them to this point, and just what their story is.

What Worked In Nomadland

These characters are actually played by real life people and these are their real life stories, which I found very interesting. I love the idea of having them tell their stories, making this movie kind of a documentary, but not really. Many of their stories are absolutely heartbreaking and I am glad that attention is being brought to them. 

The overall story that is being told is heart wrenching, and quite frankly, hard to watch at times. I will say that the journey through the country, and the scenery that they showed, was stunning. There are many great cinematic moments and half of the stills from this movie could be hung up as paintings. Simply gorgeous. That was probably my favorite part about Nomadland and I admit, it had me missing traveling. 

I completely understand what this movie is trying to do, and I can appreciate it for that. However, there are some issues I have with this film as well.

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What Didn’t Work In Nomadland

Right now things are not too great in the world. I think I can safely say there is no question of that. Nomadland was a depressing watch for me, and if I had to do it over again, I likely would have skipped it all together. 

Besides being depressing, it is also very slow. It is only an hour and forty-five minutes but it felt so much longer. I had a very hard time not getting distracted while watching it and caught myself almost falling nodding off here and there. Maybe this means I should go back in and give it another try, but having drank a cup of coffee right before watching it, I can assure it was the movie that made me tired.

Overall Thoughts

While I understand Nomadland is meant to take viewers on a journey along with Fern, too much of it fell flat for me to make me say it is worth a watch. However, I know I am in the minority here so if you care to watch it for yourself, please do! 

I wish I had loved this film, I really do. Honestly at this point I am not sure I can even say I enjoyed it. It was just too slow, depressing, and boring for me to get sucked in. All that being said, the last few minutes had me teary eyed, so I guess it did make me feel something! 

About Nomadland

A woman embarks on a journey through the American West after losing everything during the recession.

Nomadland comes to IMAX theaters on January 29th
and traditional theaters and Hulu on February 19th. 

Ignatz

Tuesday 1st of June 2021

This film was another example of Hollywood misery porn, which checked off all the right boxes to have an Oscar nod imparted. I absolutely hated it. I have to agree with others who have made the observation that The Florida Project made most of the same points about the lives of the nomadic underclass in America, but with much more heart and with an actual story arc, unlike this film which just seemed voyeuristic.

Nigel Smith

Monday 24th of May 2021

Thought it one of the most boring films ever. Quite engrossed for about an hour but then the story never seemed to progress and I nodded off several times throughout it. Acting was excellent, especially by Frances McDiormand, but switched off about half an hour before the end. Overhyped I feel.

Kerry Kirkland

Thursday 29th of April 2021

I was really unhappy after I watched this. I thought there went three hours of my life I will never get back. Didn't realize it was much shorter than that. I wanted to turn it off but kept telling myself to keep watching, something has to happen soon. It can't go on forever like this. But it did and it ended without an ending. Still so angry. I loved the leading actress, she is so good. But I dont blame her or even resent her. In fact all the players did well. But it wasn't good filmmaking to me. Movies like Smoke Signals, Shadowlands, The Hustler, The Milagro Beanfield War and a thousand others are incredible, quiet movies. Anyone who loved Nomadlands is a saint in my mind. And that's cool if you did. But I want more from a film than Nomadland gave me.

susan k korabik

Saturday 1st of May 2021

extremely boring and unrealistic. this woman worked for over 30 yrs as did her deceased spouse and ends up living in an unheated camper .the recession of 2008 was not the great depression and this movie is a far cry from the movie The grapes of wrath. 15 minutes into this move I thought this is better than a sleepiong pill. absolutely dull.

Gidget Yorkie

Tuesday 27th of April 2021

Why would anyone apologize for hating this crap movie? It sucks balls.

raga

Tuesday 27th of April 2021

yeah i agree it is a bit boring..and very sanitised. i turned it off half way through. It's a soap documentary..a fake documentary. this is homelessness that's quite cosy and warm. and Its SO overly sentimental, i didn't watch the end but i can guess somebody died...

dazzle

Thursday 13th of May 2021

Actually, NOTHING happened at the end.. :) just like in the rest of the movie...