First Look at TIFF-bound ‘Nomadland’

By Pat Mullen

Nomadland sits atop many lists as the most-anticipated film of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. See why with the first clip from the hybrid drama, which showcases director Chloé Zhao’s singular style. Distributor Searchlight Pictures released today the first teaser for Nomadland, which stars two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand as Fern, a nomadic worker travelling across the USA following seasonal labour. McDormand takes a backseat to the poetry of life in the first clip, highlighting Zhao’s style that blends fiction and non-fiction to achieve greater authenticity. The film features several of the “workamper” nomads who informed Jessica Bruder’s book on which the film is based and follows in the tradition of Zhao’s previous films The Rider and Songs My Brother Taught Me by immersing characters in the real world and people who inspire her films.

Synopsis: Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, Nomadland features real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.

Nomadland premieres at TIFF on Saturday, Sept. 11 and opens in December from Searchlight Pictures.