Frances McDormand‘s Fern was strong but mule-stubborn and at the end of the day self-destructive, and this stunted psychology led to an idiotic ending.
Her old white van was indisputably on its last legs, and 60ish David Straitharn, lonely but harmless, clearly would’ve settled for simple, no-big-deal companionship.
I’m sorry but there’s this notion out there that choosing a healthy or constructive path in life requires (a) not being a stubborn egoistic purist and (b) understanding that opting for common-sense security isn’t necessarily a death sentence or a prison term.
The curious ending of Nomadland refuses to acknowledge this. It basically says “better to die destitute and alone on a two-lane blacktop while shitting in a bucket in the middle of the night than to accept kindness and sensible adult friendship.”