The nearly one-minute teaser trailer for Nomadland is simple but effective. Frances McDormand, the queen of understated performances, walks from the right side of the frame to the left, strolling through a campground with the setting sun as a backdrop. Nothing really happens, yet the teaser somehow manages to bring you into McDormand’s world.
Nomadland is based on Jessica Bruder’s 2017 non-fiction book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century. Oscar-winner McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Peter Spears (Call Me by Your Name) picked up the book’s rights and critically acclaimed writer/director Chloé Zhao (Songs My Brothers Taught Me, The Rider) adapted Bruder’s work for the screen.
“The American road fascinates me,” explained Zhao. “It’s heartbreakingly beautiful and deeply complicated. I’ve traveled it for many years and always hoped to capture a glimpse of it. I’m thankful to be able to make Nomadland and excited for audiences to join Fern on her adventure.”
McDormand, Spears, Zhao, Mollye Asher, and Dan Janvey produced.
Searchlight Pictures is targeting a December 4, 2020 theatrical release. Prior to its release in theaters, Nomadland will screen as part of the Venice, Toronto, Telluride, and New York Film Festivals.
Per Searchlight Pictures, Nomadland “will World Premiere with simultaneous screenings on September 11th at the 77th Venice International Film Festival and the 45th Toronto International Film Festival, both of which will feature virtual introductions by producer, writer, editor, and director Zhao, and producer and actor Frances McDormand. Telluride, which canceled its 47th edition due to the global pandemic, will host a special ‘Telluride from Los Angeles’ drive-in screening in Southern California later in the evening, featuring in-person appearances by Zhao and McDormand. Additionally, the New York Film Festival announced Nomadland as the Centerpiece Selection of the 58th edition of the festival.”
Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (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.