Leaving home and living a nomad life – that's not a rare occurrence in the US, especially during the recession and even years after that.
That's the main subject of Nomadland, a 2020 American drama film written, directed, and edited by the critically-acclaimed director Chloé Zhao. It is based on a 2017 non-fiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder.
Frances McDormand, known for her Oscar-winning role in Fargo, stars in the film as Fern – a former Amazon employee who sold her belongings after her husband died. She then purchased Vanguarda, a 2001 Ford Econoline van to convert it into a motorhome. From there, her journey began as a nomad.
McDormand gives us a tour of Vanguard and the conversions applied to it, including practical applications like a stove inside the living space so you won't have to cook your food outside. You may watch the tour on the attached video atop this page, or on the embedded Facebook post above.
While for some people, living the van life spells adventure, the premise of Vanguard reflects survival and all the challenges that come with it. Of course, none of that would be possible without the help of their trusted motorhomes.
With the deep premise and notable acting by McDormand, Nomadland has already won several accolades from various award-winning bodies, including the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and Best Motion Picture – Drama at the Golden Globe Awards. The movie is currently nominated for the upcoming six Academy Awards in April, namely for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing.
Nomadland had its world premiere at the Venice Flim Festival on September 11, 2020 and as of March 10, 2021, has already grossed a worldwide total of $2.5 million. It's currently streaming on Hulu.