What ‘Nomadland’s Oscar Win Says About American Life

On Sunday, Chloé Zhao’s Elegiac New West Nomadland made Oscar history, winning best picture, best director and best actress at the 93rd Academy Awards. It was the first directorial win by a non-female filmmaker. must be white. Zhao is also the first woman to receive four nominations in one year. Also, Frances McDormand won she third and fourth Oscars this year, both for the lead role and for producing the film. The last time a purely female transition was in competition was in 2018, when Greta Gerwig’s Orange beetle earned five Oscar nominations, including best picture, director, and actress. (Before that, you had to go all the way back to 1994 to find another sweeping Oscar nominee about both and directed by a woman – Jane Campion’s Piano.)

Nomadland triumphs, however, not because of its groundbreaking representational significance, but because it elegantly captures the contradictions of contemporary American life. Our divisions in this nation have deepened over the past decade, as we have been ravaged by economic collapse, a dwindling middle class, political upheaval, gun violence , racial injustice, broken health care systems, and an increasingly fierce battle between fact and fiction. A deadly pandemic is just the cherry on the dystopian sundae tree.

Last year, we were reminded that American individualism (in the insidious form of anti-maskers) could be our downfall, and that widespread isolation was necessary for our survival. our survival. Zhao works in Nomadland refine this flawed self-determination theory. Ultimately, the film is too thorny to heal, but for every scratch and scrape, every moment our heroine feels degraded or her stubbornness disappears, we also feel honored. her light in the fresh air, open skies, and human connection. It is heart-breaking and life-affirming at the same time.

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In the film, 60-year-old widow Fern (Frances McDormand) lives a double life. After decades of dedication to her Nevada gypsum mining town, the factory closed after the Great Depression and she soon lost her job, a home, and a community. Nearing retirement age and with little savings, she roams the American heartland in search of gig gig work on an inch-detailed used van to make her home. his full-time residency. As in her previous work in Song My Brothers Teach Me (2015) and The Rider (2017), Zhao mixes drama and documentary, casting many real-life nomads who inspired her screenplay.

On the road, Fern is simultaneously trapped and free. She’s still susceptible to wear and tear when driving through rough terrain and her body when she takes on short-term tough jobs, but she’s intoxicated with sovereignty to be able to pick up and go in no time. attention moment. She connects deeply with the aging wage earners who have been forced into this itinerant lifestyle and teaches her survival strategies, but their interactions are fleeting: No one stays with her. a place long enough to cultivate true camaraderie. Fern captures the magnificence of the American West – towering rock formations and vast lilac sunsets and dense verdant forests – from within a space just under 250 cubic feet. She is very independent but also frighteningly vulnerable.

The people who vote for the Oscars aren’t the same people they were 12 months ago, statistically or psychologically. After years of battling criticism from #OscarsSoWhite, last June the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences accomplished its diversification goal, doubling the number of female and non-skinned members white by inviting 800 more film industry professionals to join its ranks. In a year rife with Hollywood idiosyncrasies, this accounts for at least some of 2021’s breakout nominations, rewriting the Oscar stereotypes we’ve become accustomed to – namely the sudden rise of stars. New faces in front of veteran stars and quite sour taste of this year’s film choice. Of course, there’s no sci-fi epic, war-based father movie, musical or superhero image that was popular last year to lift our spirits. But especially after witnessing the endless storms of 2020, AMPAS voters seem to have finally seen America for the dark realities that lurk in sight.

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Nomadland rich enough in texture and emotion to resonate widely after such a difficult year. After months of isolation at home, viewers may simply crave the film’s crisp breezes and lyrical sunsets. Maybe even the wrong person Easy Rider– fascinating mythology. But on a deeper level, Zhao taps into fear for our future, the truth of isolation, and the horror of watching the life you build for yourself crumble in an instant. . With millions of people losing their jobs due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, the film offers a sobering look at the grim fate for those without close families, retirement savings and networks. another safety net to watch them in their later years.

However, the film was not a disappointment to all audiences, with many critics decrying it as Oscar-bait “poverty tourism” and “misery porn” performed by a steel heiress and a Yale-trained movie star. Others believe it eases the daily suffering of seasonal Amazon warehouse workers. Adapted from journalist Jessica Bruder’s non-fiction book about the real-life subculture of elderly wage earners, Nomadland probes what happens to ordinary and middle-class workers who have been pushed out of the American economy but avoided the physical brutality that might alienate audiences. Bruder recounts post-traumatic stress, but Fern only observed the physical decline of his friends, never experiencing it himself.

Instead, Fern was much more susceptible to humiliation than illness. Stationed in an empty lot one night, she enjoyed a change of taste and a slice of pizza until a strange man startled her, barking that she couldn’t park there overnight. . “I’m going. I’m going,” she grumbled. In the next scene, she discovers her truck won’t start. The mechanics advised her to just take the $5,000 she had. will have to spend to fix it and put it in a new car.” No no. Well, I can’t do that,” she stammered, rambling before finally blurting out the truth. “It’s my home,” she admitted, looking as crushed as the bits of dust and gravel she passed every day.

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Final, Nomadland It’s like a rebuke to those who refuse to help because it’s a tribute to independence. In the film’s final moments, we see Fern choose solace over comfort as she starts over with her friend Dave (David Strathairn), abandoning the warmth of her son’s home to drive into the freezing rain and another round of labor. Her detached self-control is not an inspiration; it’s a cautionary tale.

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Posts “What ‘Nomadland’s Oscar Win Says About American Life” posted by on 2022-07-03 19:19:01. Thank you for reading the article at Beallich.com – Latest Entertainment News, Events… in the US

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