101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

Nomadland strikes like a jagged line of lightning on the Western plains, illuminating dark, painful, and beautiful complexities of modern American life—from low-paying jobs, to unaffordable housing, poor eldercare and overconsumption. Chloé Zhao’s scripting process, like the film itself, was unconventional—adapting Bruder’s nonfiction book, while incorporating dozens of real Americans as her cast, reconfiguring her script from location to location as new characters emerged. The resulting film, which won three Oscars including Best Picture, is part fiction, part documentary, and part existential mediation.