• Matt Levin

The Brilliance of Frances McDormand and Nomadland



Frances McDormand has always been such an authentic actor you feel like you know her. In iconic roles such as her Oscar winning turn as the sweet, pregnant cop with Sherlock Holmesian powers of deduction, Margie, in The Coen brothers, Fargo(McDormand has been married to Joel Coen since 1984), or the free-spirited record producer, Jane, in the excellent Lisa Cholodenko directed, Laurel Canyon, she gives off such an air of humanity you can't help but root for her.

But in her new film, 'Nomadland', she takes things to another level playing the role of Fern, a nomad who's not homeless, but "houseless" The character she creates seems to be channeling the real life Fran. Which is more difficult to do than you might imagine.

The director, Chloé Zhao, even admits McDormand would need to play a version of herself, “It’s very interesting, the layers of it,” Zhao said. “Fran is playing Fern, but even the name ‘Fern’ came from herself and who she thinks she might be if she hit the road.”


It's an incredibly complex, raw, and brave performance, that will undoubtedly garner her more awards and accolades. Coupled with the stunning cinematography, reminiscent of Terence Malick's gorgeous, Days of Heaven, mostly shot at the magic hours(sunrise and sunset) across 5 states, it all adds up to a must see film!





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