Monday, March 8, 2021
This week sees another 2020 buzz-worthy film hitting Tucson, and while it is available to stream on Hulu, seeing this one on a big screen in the out-of-doors would make for a very interesting viewing experience:
NOW SHOWING AT THE LOFT CINEMA AS PART OF THEIR OUTDOOR CINEMA SERIES (ALSO STREAMING ON HULU)
Constructed in a documentary style, with McDormand actually living in a van and traveling among real-life nomads playing themselves, the film is a straight-forward look at the life of somebody who part-chooses a life with little connection to standard society. Fern has plenty of opportunities to leave the RV park life and her temporary jobs at Amazon and beet farming, but she resists. She has her reasons.
McDormand is joined by one other “Hollywood” star in David Strathairn, who plays David, a sort of love interest who might be nearing the end of his nomad days. Both McDormand and Strathairn inhabit their roles convincingly, although their very existence in the movie sometimes butts up against the very real situations around them.
McDormand went full method for much of the shoot, living out of her van (until she couldn’t take it anymore), traveling all over the west and working odd jobs. Some folks in the U.S. probably got Amazon packages packed by the actress as she is seen scanning inventory and boxing it up. A visit to real-life Empire, Nevada, near the film’s end is especially poignant.
2020 was an oddball year for film, of course, but this is a standout as one of its best. It would be one of the year’s best in any year it was released.