Frances McDormand Travels the American West in 'Nomadland' Trailer

Venice Film Festival


The awards hopeful, Chloe Zhao's third film, premiered at the 2020 Venice Film Festival where it won the Golden Lion.

Searchlight Pictures has unveiled a new trailer for Chloé Zhao’s awards hopeful Nomadland, starring Oscar winner Frances McDormand.

In what The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney calls “a powerful character study of a different kind of freedom fighter,” Nomadland follows Fern (McDormand), a widow who leaves her small town to explore life outside of conventional society.

The trailer opens to Fern at a camping ground, one of her many stops along her nomadic journey. Her van — the vehicle that she calls home — can be seen in the distance, followed by scenic shots of Fern driving through the American West.

When a young girl questions her homelessness, Fern replies that she’s not. “I’m just houseless,” she smiles. “It’s not the same thing, right?”

On her journey, Fern can be seen exploring beautiful landscapes and meeting new people along the way. Oscar nominee David Strathairn stars alongside McDormand, but several supporting roles are filled by real-life nomads, including Linda May, Charlene Swankie and Bob Wells, who mentor Fern in her new way of life.

“What the nomads are doing is not that different than what the pioneers did,” a woman’s voice is heard saying in the trailer. “I think Fern’s a part of an American tradition.”

The trailer comes to a close as a fellow nomad tells Fern that “there’s no final goodbye.”

“I can be certain in my heart, I’ll see you again,” he says.

Based on Jessica Bruder's 2017 nonfiction book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, Nomadland is Zhao’s third feature film, following the critically acclaimed Songs My Brothers Taught Me and The Rider. The Beijing-born NYU film grad also recently directed the upcoming Marvel film The Eternals.

Nomadland has already received critical acclaim, landing a 97 percent freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion.

Nomadland is set for a Feb. 19 release.

Watch the trailer below.