The Plugged In Show, Episode 75: A Journey into ‘Nomadland’

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When people learn what I do, they think it must be a great job, watching movies for a living. But here’s a secret: The perk of the job isn’t seeing movies. It’s being able to talk about them.

Take the film Nomadland, which just cleaned up at the Oscars April 25. It took home three of the evening’s biggest awards: Best Actress (Francis McDormand), Best Director (Chloe Zhao) and Best Picture. And in some respects, it looks just like the sort of movie that gets Oscars: artsy, pensive, some might even say a little slow. And yet dig a little deeper, and it’s not typical at all.

Our team has engaged in hundreds of conversations over movies that, like Nomadland, require a little digging. Sometimes we can passionately disagree with each other over the movie’s merits or message. Sometimes we come to the table with unexpected insights or fresh thoughts, and sometimes these conversations wind up being about more than the movie itself. Because, after all, good conversations about film are never just about the film: They’re about us, too.

For this latest episode of The Plugged In Show, Plugged In Director Adam Holz and I tried to give you a taste of one of those over-the-cubicle-wall conversations, using one of Oscar’s buzziest pics. We tackle the cultural and surprisingly spiritual themes of Nomadland, discussing where the movie succeeds—and where it fails.

Listen in, why don’t you? If you have a third of the fun listening to it as I did participating, the show will be well worth your time. Oh, and check out links to everything else we talk about, too.

Paul Asay

Paul Asay has been part of the Plugged In staff since 2007, watching and reviewing roughly 15 quintillion movies and television shows. He’s written for a number of other publications, too, including Time, The Washington Post and Christianity Today. The author of several books, Paul loves to find spirituality in unexpected places, including popular entertainment, and he loves all things superhero. His vices include James Bond films, Mountain Dew and terrible B-grade movies. He’s married, has two children and a neurotic dog, runs marathons on occasion and hopes to someday own his own tuxedo. Feel free to follow him on Twitter @AsayPaul.

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