A woman in her sixties, after losing everything in the Great Recession, embarks on a journey through the American West, living as a van-dwelling modern-day nomad.


Chloé Zhao


Chloé Zhao (written for the screen by), Jessica Bruder (based on the book by)
57 ( 14)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 229 wins & 137 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Frances McDormand ... Fern
Gay DeForest Gay DeForest ... Gay
Patricia Grier Patricia Grier ... Patty
Linda May Linda May ... Linda
Angela Reyes Angela Reyes ... Angela
Carl R. Hughes Carl R. Hughes ... Carl
Douglas G. Soul Douglas G. Soul ... Doug
Ryan Aquino Ryan Aquino ... Ryan
Teresa Buchanan Teresa Buchanan ... Teresa
Karie Lynn McDermott Wilder Karie Lynn McDermott Wilder ... Karie
Brandy Wilber Brandy Wilber ... Brandy
Makenzie Etcheverry Makenzie Etcheverry ... Makenzie
Bob Wells Bob Wells ... Bob
Annette Webb Annette Webb ... Annette
Rachel Bannon Rachel Bannon ... Rachel

The Rise of Frances McDormand

Actor Frances McDormand, known for her Oscar-winning performances in Fargo and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Nomadland. "No Small Parts" takes a look at her long, eclectic career in film and television.

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Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, NOMADLAND features real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern's mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West. Written by Searchlight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some full nudity. | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Along with Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman (2020), Chloé Zhao and Fennell became the second and third women to be nominated for Academy Awards for writing, directing and producing in the same year. Sofia Coppola was the first with Lost in Translation (2003), a gap of 17 years. See more »


At the Thanksgiving celebration in Mendocino, David Straithairn's character likens the wineglasses clinking, very clearly, to 'the bells of ACROsanti.' Both his pronunciation and the subtitle spelling agree. He is referring to, however, the bells of ARCOsanti. See more »


Fern: Bo never knew his parents, and we never had kids. If I didn't stay, if I left, it would be like he never existed. I couldn't pack up and move on. He loved Empire. He loved his work so much. He loved being there, everybody loved him. So I stayed. Same town, same house. Just like my dad used to say: "What's remembered, lives." I maybe spent too much of my life just remembering, Bob.
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Next To The Track Blues
Written and Performed by Paul Winer
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User Reviews

To the ones who had to depart
21 May 2021 | by avindugunasingheSee all my reviews

Nomadland is where roaming memories and wandering tales of bittersweet lives meet to tell us their story.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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USA | Germany



Release Date:

19 February 2021 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Nomadland See more »

Filming Locations:

Arizona, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$503,000, 21 February 2021

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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