This Land Is Your Land
You might have heard and read a lot already about "Nomadland". A movie that won all the precious festival awards (Venice and Toronto among others), now nominated for several "Golden Globes" and also hottest "Oscar" contender of the hour.
The film about a woman leaving her hometown when there is nothing left to keep her there. Going on the road, moving from job to job, a lifestyle more and more people pick up, out of necessitiy but also out of beating depressing solitarity, when there is no family to feel attached to, no friends, no job.
Francis McDormand plays Fern, well, playing might not be the right term as McDormand seems to become Fern. You can imagine her leaving everything behind in exchange for a more independent life, far away from her devoted audience since "Fargo" or "Three Billboards Outside Missouri". She already had suggested that plan to her husband Joel Coen when life in the limelight became too hard to bare. They then moved to a place in Nothern California she would not give away so they can live there as a famliy without being bothered.
To be honest: Watching the movie was not easy for me. My emotions went from pitying to guilty, from estranged to envious - at the end I was not even sure whether to recommend or to warn you. Woud you really want to watch a lonesome woman, obviously uncapable to live in any kind of relationship, on the road?
Then I read the piece in "Harper´s" , written by the Jessica Bruder who also wrote that book "Nomadland" the movie is based on. Some of the people you meet there will actually play themselves in the movie later, another crucial factor for McDormand´s authenticity: She just seems to become a part of that community.
So you might either read that piece or the book for that matter - but if you decide to watch the movie, get ready for an interaction with people of a very different kind. Astonishingly un-miserable, never pathetic and sometimes funny or romantic. McDormand might help you open your mind towards a lifestyle that is definitely simple, maybe poor but still full of dignity.
And as Fern herself points out to be "houseless, not homeless" you travel with her through an America that is still mindblowingly beautiful and you might start to wonder why people so desperately want to settle somewhere, getting into debt just to pay for their morgage.
"Nomadland" is definitely not everyone´s favorite destination, it takes some courage to leave everything behind, every other day. But in a way it might work as an irritating inspiration.
For us, back home in our houses