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: feel good stories arts entertainment arts entertainment hulu entertainment oscars academy awards movie movie review golden globe awards sandy kenyon film festival feel good stories feel good stories 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
Find resources, organizations that support women
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Here are the local and national organizations that are working to support women in our community:
Professional BusinessWomen of California (PBWC)
PBWC provides skill development, networking opportunities and inspiration to women at all levels to achieve their own ambitions and collectively advance equality in professional settings.
A locally-based international organization providing both national and local resources for many issues, including Women's Rights in the Workplace.
Dress for Success San Francisco
Our Virtual Career Center offers an online space for clients to access resources including resume templates, interview advice, and community resources during Covid-19. Clients can also set up a one-on-one mentoring appointment with one of our career mentors over video call.
La Cocina is a nonprofit working to solve problems of equity in business ownership for women, immigrants and people of color. Women account for only 33% of business owners nationwide and still make 46-75 cents for every dollar their white, male counterparts make.
One Hundred Black Women, Oakland/Bay Area Chapter
One Hundred Black Women, Oakland/Bay Area Chapter is committed to providing programs that increase the participation of African American women in economic, civic, entrepreneurial, and human service arenas of their respective communities through education, scholarship, and collaboration.
Black Women Organized for Political Action | Training Institute for Leadership Enrichment
Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA) mission is to activate, motivate, promote, support, and educate African-American women about the political process, encourage involvement, and to affirm our commitment to, and solving of, those problems affecting the African-American community. The Training Institute for Leadership Enrichment (TILE) provides programs to develop and incubate a generation of African-American women leaders, so that these women are represented at local and national decision-making tables.
The Center for Asian Pacific American Women
Dedicated to the enhancement and enrichment of leadership skills for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women through education, networking, and mentorship. The Center strives to nurture our Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities by expanding leadership capacity, fostering awareness of AAPI issues, creating a supportive network of AAPI women leaders, and strengthening community.
Chicana Latina Foundation
The Chicana Latina Foundation promotes professional and leadership development of Latinas. As the fastest growing population in California, Latinas are the future. Young, multicultural and entrepreneurial, by 2030, Latinas will make up the largest share of California's workforce.
Equal Rights Advocates
Equal Rights Advocates fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools across the country. Since 1974, we've been fighting on the front lines of social justice to protect and advance rights and opportunities for women, girls, and people of all gender identities through groundbreaking legal cases and bold legislation that sets the stage for the rest of the nation.
The Women's Building
The Women's Building is a women-led community space that advocates self-determination, gender equality and social justice.
National Organization for Women
COVID-19 has challenged the way we all live and work. It is vital that in this time of isolation we continue to maintain our virtual community in order to maximize the impact of our work for women, who are being disproportionately impacted by the virus.
We make the tech ecosystem and entrepreneurship more diverse, inclusive, and impactful.
SF LGBT Center
We see employment as a basic right for LGBTQ individuals in order for them to increase financial health and build assets over time. To this end, we offer a range of services, events, and workshops tailored to support participants' job searches, to offer networking opportunities with potential employers and to connect to further training opportunities.
Out & Equal | Workplace Advocates
Out & Equal is the premier organization working exclusively on LGBTQ workplace equality. Through our worldwide programs, Fortune 500 partnerships and our annual Workplace Summit conference, we help LGBTQ people thrive and support organizations creating a culture of belonging for all.
Transgender District of San Francisco
The transgender district aims to stabilize and economically empower the transgender community through ownership of homes, businesses, historic and cultural sites, and safe community spaces.
March of Dimes
We give moms the information and care they need before, during and after pregnancy. If something goes wrong, we support families in the NICU.
Futures without Violence
Futures Without Violence is a health and social justice nonprofit with a simple mission: to heal those among us who are traumatized by violence today - and to create healthy families and communities free of violence tomorrow.
La Casa de las Madres
An unwavering source of support for survivors of domestic violence and the people who care about them, La Casa de las Madres is accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call our 24-Hour hotline at 877-503-1850. Or Text Support Line at 415-200-3575.
More resources as related to Workplace Inequality
Girls Who Code
American Association of University Women
Girls For Gender Equity
Teach A Girl To Lead
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
The National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women
Women of color
National Latin@ Network for Healthy Families and Communities
Women of Color Network
Casa de Esperanza
National Indigenous Women's Resource Center
The Trevor Project
"Our America: Women Forward" is special series celebrating women across this country through stories of their perseverance, resilience, triumph, hope, achievement, strength and power. We will break down the disparities that challenge progress and the systemic sexism at the root of it all. You'll meet mothers, daughters, sisters and friends; innovators, teachers, gamechangers, power players, explorers, athletes and everyday heroes. The stories will begin to air on ABC7 News at 4 p.m. on March 8 and will culminate in a one-hour documentary that will air Saturday, March 13
Stream this documentary on your TV
Download the ABC7 Bay Area app on Roku, AppleTV, Amazon FireTV or AndroidTV. Just search for "ABC7 Bay Area" and download our free app.