The 23 best book-to-movie adaptations of all time


Adapting a non-fiction work comes with its own set of challenges, but this is especially true of investigative journalism. Writer-Director Chloe Zhao Skillfully Weaves Jessica Bruder’s Reported Stories Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century in the characters Fern (Frances McDormand) and Dave (David Strathairn) with the nomads found in the book (Linda May, Charlene Swankie and Bob Wells as themselves) in a delicate balance, which is warm despite its sometimes clinical documentary style. Both mediums capture the painfully hard labor available to marginalized communities for what amounts to subsistence income; Remote forest service camp hosting concerts, seasonal work in the Amazon CamperForce warehouse, amusement park rides, sorting sugar beets through the frozen tundra, among others. The book reads like an oral history, stories of war of survival and pride, fear and despair told around hot plates and nighttime fires. While the film can feel cold and lonely in its remoteness at times, familiarity with the original reporting helps fill those spaces. Linda May, “Swankie Wheels”, Bob Wells and all the other members of the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous – see you soon. —Sarah Sprague

Related: With Nomadic country, Chloe Zhao is on the road to Oscar history

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