You read about the startling statistics on the surge in the numbers of homeless in America and the figures are so vast they tend to just wash over you. Reduce those numbers down to one and give it the emotional impact that great cinema is capable of and Nomadland will tear your heart out.
Overwhelmingly sad but life reaffirming at the same time, the film presents yet another example of a role that only Frances McDormand could bring to full fruition. She plays Fern, a woman who many will see as having lost everything. Gone are, her job, her husband, her home, even her town has been reduced to empty domiciles and a nonexistent postcode.
These circumstances have not destroyed her. She has dealt with all the loss by hitting the road and living the life of a vagabond. While some will see her as being ensnared in a tar pit of sorrow, she finds liberation in the open plains and the sea of new people that she comes in contact with. The film leaves it up to you to find in your own heart, is it liberation or loneliness?
With contrasting viewpoints about the disposable nature of certain segments of the population and their redemption via the ability to find a degree of comfort in just about any setting or just coping with unchecked mental conditions, the experience will still leave its mark. There has to be a better way to treat the members of society that fall outside the traditional norm. It holds true that their value doesn’t run out when their employment opportunities do.