Feb 23, 2021
'Nomadland' review: One of the year's best films
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NEW YORK -- A film now streaming on Hulu is generating serious Oscar buzz, and entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon says it's one of the year's best.
"Nomadland" has earned top prize at film festivals in Berlin and Toronto, and the movie has four nominations going into next weekend's Golden Globe Awards.
It's almost guaranteed to be nominated as Best Picture when Oscar nominations are announced on March 15, and "Variety" has dubbed it the favorite to win the top prize.
The on-the-road movie's pace is leisurely, and the performance by Frances McDormand is often silent. But if you're patient, this film will reward you.
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Not a whole lot happens in "Nomadland," but much is revealed, most especially on McDormand's remarkably expressive face.
"I live in there," says her character, Fern, about the ancient van she uses to travel the American West. "It's my home."
First, Fern's husband lost his mining job, and then she lost him.
The audience meets her after his death, when she is told by a clerk that she "may want to consider early retirement."
She replies simply, "I need work. I like to work."
The work that's available in an Amazon warehouse is mind-numbing and only seasonal, so Fern hits the road and finds a group of fellow travelers.
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Claudia Conway grew up watching "American Idol" in Alpine, New Jersey, and calls the chance to audition for the show, "a life changing experience."
What these nomads are doing is not that different from what the pioneers did, and McDormand's character is a composite of the real-life nomads author Jessica Bruder interviewed for her book, "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century."
It's about living on the road full time, trying to find a way to survive. There are people who have chosen another way to live that most of society wouldn't understand.
Plenty of these real people appear onscreen as McDormand's co-stars, and the decision to use them is among many choices director Chloe Zhao has made to make her film sublime.
"There's something about the beauty of the American West," she said. "It's something that has inspired generations. It reminds you that you are not alone. It reminds you that you are part of something bigger."
David Strathairn's character offers Fern a way out of this itinerant lifestyle, but she resists.
"Nomadland" can't be called a celebration of what seems to be a harsh life, but like her character, we find meaning in the course of a journey most of us will never take.
We find understanding, too.
Fern's perseverance will inspire you, and the performances of the nomads who are not actors will surprise you. It is a look inside a culture many people don't even know exists.
"Nomadland" is streaming on Hulu, owned by the same parent company as this ABC station.
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Several new films featuring predominantly Black casts are being released in February, as we celebrate Black History Month.
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Tags: arts entertainment arts entertainment hulu entertainment oscars academy awards movie movie review golden globe awards sandy kenyon film festival the year’s best the year’s character year’s best something the american west streaming on hulu her character american idol sandy kenyon black casts on the road
New York Governor Cuomo Backs Down on Plan To Pick Lawyer To Review His Alleged Sexual Misconduct
Reuters February 28, 2021 0 Comments
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office backed down on its plan to choose an investigator to review sexual harrassment allegations against him, saying on Sunday it had instead asked the state’s attorney general and an appeals court judge to pick a lawyer to conduct an independent review.
Cuomo, one of the nation’s most well-known Democratic politicians whose popularity soared during the early months of the pandemic, has faced a string of controversies in recent weeks including how his administration handled high numbers of COVID-19 deaths in the state’s nursing homes.
Cuomo’s administration said it wanted the probe to be done “in a manner beyond reproach” after two former aides came forward in recent days to make accusations of sexual misconduct by the governor, which he has denied.
It said that on Saturday it had selected a former federal judge, Barbara Jones, to lead the investigation, but wanted now to avoid “even the perception of a lack of independence or inference of politics.”
It said it had asked the Attorney General of New York State and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals to jointly select an independent lawyer without political affiliation to conduct a thorough review and issue a public report.
“All members of the Governor’s office will cooperate fully. We will have no further comment until the report is issued,” special counsel to Cuomo Beth Garvey said in a statement.
(Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Daniel Wallis)