Nomadland, the script is actually very lean and genius, do you agree?

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  • Nomadland, the script is actually very lean and genius, do you agree?

    After the golden globes last night. I read this script.
    Loved it.
    Written with pro elegance.
    https://www.searchlightpictures.com/...and/pdf-viewer
    What did you like about the script?
    I love the way it flows.

  • #2
    Thanks, WRITERRIVERS For lazy bums like me who want to download and read all 87 pages:

    https://deadline.com/wp-content/uplo...Screenplay.pdf

    -- fallen

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    • #3
      I saw the movie about a month ago. It's a giant "meh" for me. The type of movie that awards voters love because it tap dances around some prominent social issues without actually saying much or making any challenging points. What it does well is bash the viewer over the head with a lot of pity, so a lot of people will have an emotional reaction to that weepy aspect of it. It's a 7/10 for me though. Forgettable and won't be something that people revisit much 5-10 years down the line.

      2020 was a strange year in cinema for obvious reasons, but I feel like there were numerous 2019 releases that were much better than Nomadland. Portrait of a Lady on Fire was a much better movie, and it didn't even get an Oscar nom because Parasite was so dominant in the foreign feature space.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by DaltWisney View Post
        I saw the movie about a month ago. It's a giant "meh" for me. The type of movie that awards voters love because it tap dances around some prominent social issues without actually saying much or making any challenging points. What it does well is bash the viewer over the head with a lot of pity, so a lot of people will have an emotional reaction to that weepy aspect of it. It's a 7/10 for me though. Forgettable and won't be something that people revisit much 5-10 years down the line.
        This is my take as well. And while the cinematography is really good, there just isn't that much for actors to do in this film, so it's basically Frances McDormand moseying through a slice-of-life story which never really delivers the goods, IMO.

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        • #5
          Haven't seen the movie. Just finished reading the script.

          I'm not sure what the theme is as it relates to the lead character. At first, it seemed like it was going to shine a light on homelessness -- and it did with a couple characters telling their story -- but for the protag, the nomad lifestyle is clearly a choice.

          She has two opportunities to live in a house with people who care for her and she walks away from both. It kind of bugs me because it lets the viewer walk away thinking, "They want to be homeless. They're happier homeless."

          On another site (not a writing site), there was a woman posting installments of her journey through homelessness. It was heartbreaking. But her every effort was focused on the goal of finding employment that was steady enough to get her into an apartment. Saving every penny from part time and seasonal jobs. Taking courses for certification so she could get a better job. Living in a camper at first because she didn't want to give up her dog. Then, making the hard choice to rehome her dog because there aren't many places to legally park/live close to places she worked. So she kisses the dog goodbye, sells the van, buys a used car she can pay to park and starts living in shelters. What she described about shelter life sounded like it could screw with your mental/emotional stability, rather quickly.

          Two steps forward, 1.5 steps back. Getting laid off. Searching for another job. Occasionally checking into a motel for a night or two because the shelter was driving her crazy. Working with city resources for the homeless to find subsidized housing. Finally, she pulled it off. Finally, she had a decent full-time job and moved into a subsidized studio apartment. At one point, someone started a fundraiser for her so she could fix her car and I donated. But she asked the person to shut it down when it hit $1,000 because she said that was enough for repairs. The last installment she posted was for before Covid hit. Over a year ago. I worry about her. This complete stranger.

          Frankly, her story is far more compelling than the Nomadland script I just read.


          Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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          • #6
            I don't even think Nomadland is a story. It lacks basically all the essential ingredients of a story.

            It has no real structure. All the acts kind of bleed together, and there is almost no causality from scene to scene and sequence to sequence.

            It's just. This happens. And then this happens. And then this happens. Not: This happens, but this happens, therefore this happens, so this happens.

            Like, seriously, the big third act break is her van breaks down, which she gets the money for almost immediately after. Much drama!

            It's just two hours of moments that are barely tied together by any common thread other than the presence of the protagonist.

            There isn't even really an overarching character goal or want for the protagonist other than to be a nomad, which she already is on page one. There is no tension. She's not looking for anything or trying to confront anything internally or externally. She doesn't change. She just exists.

            Nothing REALLY happens the entire sequence of events.

            Maybe I'm from some sort of classical old school of storytelling, but I can't say I dig what Nomadland does from a story perspective at all.

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            • #7
              Similar to Split, which was a tragedy to people who actually have DID, I wonder how much about homelessness the main creators actually know about the struggles that really entails. Being homeless in some ways is a choice, but in most ways, it's not.

              Not that they are similar, but look at this movie next to something like Pursuit of Happyness. One is real cinema, the other is some landscape shots.

              I'm confused.

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              • #8
                It was based on a non-fiction book titled Nomadland. From Time magazine:

                "The 2017 nonfiction book is a sweeping account of post-recession contemporary nomads like the fictional Fern."

                Apparently two women featured in the book played themselves in the movie.

                Essentially, it's a documentary with a fictional lead.

                Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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                • #9
                  I am going to go ahead and refer to THE FATHER script as more "lean and genius" to use the OP'S words. Very powerful for such a simple, unassuming story.

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