Please be seated and silent before you read this, so that I may have your undivided attention. You there, sit up straight! Thank you.
First of all, before we get into my review of celebrated director Chloé Zhao’s Academy Award-winning Nomadland, for any of your new students, my name is Principal, sorry, Vice Principal Shick – and you know it’s Shick. Not “Vice Principal Dick” or “Vice Principal Thick Dick,” as eighth grader Douglas Schexnayder thinks it is a hoot to call me. Shick, damn it! Principal, no, Vice Principal Dick– Shick. Gah!
Quiet down, please.
Nomadland is a movie about what happens if you don’t go to high school and get an education, starring Frances McDormand, David Strathairn and some other friendly folks who live in their vans and RV’s. Now, with hard work and some spunk Ms. McDormand, who plays Fern, is able to make friends and have a happy life. We all know having “peeps” is important. But it’s okay if you don’t have a lot of friends, because life is not a popularity contest. People may be jealous of your power; call you names like “Four Eyes” or “Thick Dick” or “That Sad Guy Who Has A Big Surprise Coming If He Thinks He’s Getting A Promotion.” If you aren’t popular, it’s okay. And if you are being bullied, make sure you tell a grown up.
The movie begins with Fern selling all of her possessions, because she loses her job. “Whack AF,” right kids? Jobs are important. Real jobs, ones where you have an office and a desk and aren’t making fries. Go ahead and laugh, Douglas Schexnayder – you won’t be laughing when you’ve got bills to pay, you little– no sir! You’ll wish you’d been nicer to Principal– Vice Principal Shick then!
Anyway, Fern drives all around the country in her “on fleek” van. She has made it “on fleek” by doing things like installing a shelf, which is a perfect demonstration of why, for example, woodshop is a useful class to have. Without it, how would Fern know how to cut the wood, use a drill, etc? And Math for getting measurements and adding up numbers? Learning is good, guys. It’s “cool” to learn.
Ow! Who threw that? I mean it, who threw that paper airplane? I know it was you, Douglas! You could’ve taken my eye out! I will see you in my office immediately after assembly!
There is an underlying sadness that plagues Fern throughout her journey. It’s the kind of melancholy you kids have yet to experience. Like when your “’rents” destroy your dreams of being an artist and tell you to pursue a degree in education instead. So you do. You work hard. You even get your M.Ed., so that one day, one glorious day, you will become Principal of the local high school. You pay your dues, and when the current Principal retires, you just know the Board is going to move you up after ten years of dedicated service.
But then here comes someone from out of town, some hot shot who isn’t even from Evanston to sneak in like a bandit and steal the job you’d earned, right from under your nose. And sure, he’s charming and tall and got all his hair, but what about you? You’re just an afterthought to these people?!
And you think, was it worth it? Was this all wasted? You can still make a difference, right? You can help these privileged little brats learn how to be productive citizens. And you still have your gardening and your puzzles and, oh yeah, your wife, who spends like you got the promotion…
Sit down, Mr. Cooper. I’m not finished yet! Despite what everyone thinks, I’m! Not! Finished!…
Anyhootie, hey… I liked Nomadland. It was a satisfying film with good acting and a storyline we can all learn from. Who knows, maybe I will just quit this goddamn job and buy a crappy van and drive around the country; start painting again and say, “To hell with it all, it’s never too late to start over.”
And now, I turn it over to Coach Hatch to discuss the upcoming baseball tryouts. Take it away, Coach.
- Hair, Willy Wonka and The Chocolate Factory, Fame, Some Like It Hot, The Producers (original), What’s Up, Doc?
- The Giving Tree, The Hobbit, The Shining
- The Beatles, REM, U2, Classic Rock!
I think ELO makes any soundtrack better.