This award winning movie is an acquired taste. Meaning – “you’ll have to like it to like it.” Part of your labor will be to adamantly remain with the movie till the very end, just to find out exactly why the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science, better known as Oscars, chose this as their best picture of 2021.
How the Oscar jury work, is known. Here is a link which show their method to choose winners. But what are the KRA, the key result areas on which the performance of the movie are appraised? Are there other aspects too, that are deciding? Like Geopolitics. Or Commercial interests.
For example, India, which had never much featured in the world of Beauty, suddenly, in 1994, won both Miss World and Miss Universe awards. With 1991 economic liberalization in India, a crowd of multinationals had entered Indian market and they all needed models. Well, what best way, than to create some nice well known faces for the media. In 6 years, from 1994 till 2000, India won 4 Miss World awards and in 1996, Bangalore itself hosted Miss World Beauty pageant. That’s two decades back. Since then, except 2012, beauty has escaped India. India not winning anything in the world indicates that the world just aren’t interested in India.
China has always been hot. The western world loves the Chinese (read) – the Chinese Market. And they do all the media tricks to signal their love. And China knows that its market is their power. And they are not shy to use that as a leverage. China have censored movies which does not support their politics and their narratives and it has forced changes in movie scripts and screen depictions. And Hollywood has complied.
Any which way, a message has gone across to China that Americans love them, even their multi-international-award-winning expats’ movie, which has pace, look, and feel like an amateur documentary.
To successfully watch Nomadland till the end, the viewer has to latch themselves, with chains and locks, to the chief protagonist, Fern (Frances McDormand) and stay with her for One Hour Fifty Minutes. The movie will never invite you. Instead, the viewer has to behave like an uninvited guest, rummaging garbage in every scene for tidbits of souvenirs.