Searchlight Pictures has released the teaser trailer for Chloé Zhao’s new movie Nomadland. The film follows Fern (Frances McDormand), a modern-day nomad who traverses the American West following the collapse of her company town in rural Nevada.
In an alternate 2020 that’s not ravaged by the pandemic, Zhao is about to have a big moment as Nomadland positions itself as a likely awards contender simultaneous with Zhao’s Marvel movie Eternals blowing up at the box office. Unfortunately, we live in this 2020, which has Nomadland still continuing on a trajectory through the festival circuit, but its awards fortunes are far less certain without the traditional pathway and buzz-building events for a small film like this one. That’s not to say that the film will lack attention—it has Searchlight’s backing and Zhao is coming off the success of The Rider, but Oscar contenders are far less certain these days. And as for Eternals, the film is currently slated for February 2021, but who knows if that will hold.
As for this trailer, Zhao remains a master of photographing rural America, and I’m eager to see the film later this week when it premieres as part of the Toronto International Film Festival’s 2020 lineup (I’ll be watching the film from home as press will attend virtually this year).
Check out the Nomadland trailer below. The film opens in theaters on December 4th.
Here’s the official synopsis for Nomadland:
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.