Nomadland is a 2020 American drama film written, produced, edited and directed by Chloé Zhao. Based on the 2017 nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century by Jessica Bruder, it stars Frances McDormand as a widow who leaves to travel around the United States in her van as a nomad. David Strathairn also stars in a supporting role. A number of real-life nomads appear as fictionalized versions of themselves, including Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells.
Nomadland premiered on September 11, 2020, at the Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion. It also won the People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. It had a one-week streaming limited release on December 4, 2020, and was distributed by Searchlight Pictures in selected IMAX theaters in the United States on January 29, 2021, and simultaneously in theaters, and streaming digitally on Hulu, on February 19, 2021. The film was a box office success, grossing $39 million worldwide against its $5 million budget and received widespread critical acclaim for its direction, editing, screenplay and cinematography, as well as the performances of McDormand and Strathairn. It was the third-highest rated film of 2020 on Metacritic, which found it to be the most frequently ranked by critics and publications as one of the best films of the year.
At the 93rd Academy Awards, it won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress for McDormand, from a total of six nominations. Zhao became the first Asian woman, the first woman of color and the second woman ever to win Best Director; McDormand became the first woman and fourth person to win Academy Awards for both acting and producing, and the first person ever to win Academy Awards as producer and performer for the same film. It is also the first Searchlight release to win Best Picture since The Walt Disney Company acquired the assets of 21st Century Fox. It also won Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director at the 78th Golden Globe Awards, four awards including Best Film at the 74th British Academy Film Awards, and four awards including Best Film at the 36th Independent Spirit Awards.