There’s no obvious favorite for Best Picture at the 2021 Oscars yet, but <em>Nomadland</em> is a strong contender. Chloé Zhao’s follow-up to <em>The Rider</em> (also very good) was one of the best-reviewed movies of 2020, with a predictably stellar lead performance from Frances McDormand. “How is it a 2020 movie if it hasn’t come out yet?” you might be wondering. That’s because <em>Nomadland</em> made the “virtual cinema” rounds over the fall and winter, but don’t worry, it’s getting a wide release soon.
Variety reports that Nomadland “will debut in select IMAX venues on Jan. 29 before opening in traditional theaters and drive-in locations on Feb. 19. On the same day as its wide release in February, Nomadland will premiere on Hulu.” Every one of those formats works for Nomadland: IMAX, because the cinematography is stunning and deserves to be seen on the biggest possible screen; drive-in theaters, because so much of the movie is about being in a car or van; and Hulu, because of the accessibility.
“Nomadland firmly establishes Chloé Zhao as one of the best directors working today. Not that this declaration couldn’t be seen coming with her last film, 2017’s The Rider. But Nomadland is just one of those types of movies that announces a director’s presence with authority. It’s the type of movie that changes everything for an up and coming director. At this point, it would be an absolute shock if it isn’t somehow nominated for Best Picture,” our own Mike Ryan wrote in his glowing review. Zhao’s next project: the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Eternals, out on November 5.