Frances McDormand's Chloé Zhao-directed drama will debut digitally and in theaters.


Frances McDormand's cross-country trek in Nomadland will bring her to new digital frontiers ahead of the Oscars.

The Chloé Zhao-directed drama — and current statistical frontrunner for the Academy's Best Picture prize — will be released to IMAX theaters on Jan. 29 by Searchlight Pictures, followed by a simultaneous debut in select domestic theaters and on streaming giant Hulu beginning Feb. 19.

The exclusive IMAX window will showcase the film's "sweeping vistas, filmed across five states in the American West" as part of IMAX's digital remastering process to bring "stunning clarity and precision audio" to viewers, per a press release.

Two-time Oscar-winning actress McDormand leads the film as Fern, a grieving woman who flees her economically troubled town to travel around the country in her trusty van, meeting eccentric strangers as she discovers new physical environments and a fresh perspective on her life. Academy Award-nominated performer David Strathairn costars alongside real-life actors Swankie, Bob Wells, and Linda May — all of whom appeared in Jessica Bruder's book upon which the film is based.

Nomadland has emerged as a likely Oscar contender after playing the fall festival circuit, where it won several pre-Academy Awards accolades, including the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival's People's Choice Award.

"I always used to make that joke that when you feel a bit lost, you go West. That's sort of a historic movement that people do. There's that pioneer spirit of that land, and it's also full of tension in a way. It feels both new and old because it's now predominantly farmland," Zhao previously told EW of settling into the film's atmosphere. "It's ranching land, and it's too rugged to build and to grow, so there are things that are there, lying around from a hundred years ago. There's something about that piece of landscape in a country that's so young, and the things we talk about are so of today. To escape into the heartland and the American West is a very rejuvenating experience for me every time I go. I just feel like I'm part of something bigger."

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