The winner of the Golden Globes best drama film and a favorite for Oscar success, “Nomadland” is a newly released film in which South Dakota takes center stage.
“Nomadland” follows Fern (played by Frances McDormand) as she searches for peace and community across the country. The story covers several states, but Fern stops at several South Dakota locales in the film.
“Taking in many of the USA’s most extraordinary landscapes, this meditative, moving film looks set to be not only one of 2021′s most award-laden but also its most beautiful,” according to an article from Traveller.
McDormand is seen hiking in Badlands Park, working at Wall Drug — while also wearing a Wall Drug paper hat, and exploring the Pine Ridge Reservation in southwestern South Dakota.
In the movie, she finds work in a campground and then works as a waitress at Wall Drug.
Shots from the trailer show her traveling through Custer State Park and admiring the view of the Black Hills.
Director Chloé Zhao lived with the Lakota Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation to prepare for a previous film, “The Rider,” according to South Dakota Tourism. Her film “Songs My Brother Taught Me,” from 2015, was also set in a South Dakota reservation, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reported.
The shooting of “Nomadland” was spread out over six months beginning in September 2018.
“Nomadland” is based on a non-fiction work by journalist Jessica Bruder, which takes a look into the rising number of Americans who consider the normal, stable, way of living unaffordable due to outside factors.
Fern, 61, discovers a new way of life as she searches for work across the American West after she loses everything, including her husband, during the Great Recession.
The film features the American landscape and includes the real-life nomads from Bruder's book.
The film is set to rake in awards across the film industry this year, including nominations for Golden Globes and talk surrounding BAFTA and the postponed April 2021 Oscars.
“Nomadland” won the Golden Lion at the 2020 Venice Film Festival and took home the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The film was the big winner in the North Dakota Film Society Awards in January. The movie earned top honors for Best Picture, Director, Actress, Cinematography and Film Editing.
Several South Dakotans have non-acting roles in the film, according to South Dakota Tourism. Shots include tourists and locals throughout southwestern South Dakota.
While McDormand was in Wall Drug, the popular tourist destination’s owners let McDormand serve customers who didn’t even recognize the Academy Award-winning actress, according to a Vulture article.
The film was released in theaters and on Hulu on Feb. 19.