Review: Nomadland embraces our need for community

The festive season always offers a wealth of great food, good company, and even better movies.

Blockbuster Wonder Woman 1984 has just landed along with the new Croods for the kids, and for all you cinephiles out there, Nomadland.

What a delectable way to end the weirdest cinematic year in history. 

The film features Oscar-winner Frances McDormand in her first role since storming awards season with the brilliant Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri three years ago.

In Nomadland, McDormand is the recently widowed Fern, having lived all her married life in Empire, Nevada, a company town which entirely disappeared off the map when the factory closed down.

She puts most of her married lifetime's worth of belongings into a storage unit, the remainder in her trusty van, and she hits the road.

Written, directed and edited by award-winning filmmaker Chloe Zhao, her semi-improvisational style suits McDormand just perfectly.

She and fellow actor David Strathairn have taken a step back to allow their real-life co-stars to fill the screen and our hearts.

Living a hard life, making her own choices, Fern is never a victim and neither is anyone else in this empowering, insightful and soulful story. 

It takes us outside the conventional norms of American life to the road less travelled, and what a joy it all is.

A journey of discovery, a life lived on your own terms - conventional or otherwise - this story is both panoramic and intimate.

It shows the importance of individual choice, while at the same time embracing the very heart of our need for community.

Nomadland is a gift of a film and a five-star watch.