An Oscar Contender Considers the White Working Class

Frances McDormand in Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
Nomadland follows in the tradition of The Grapes of Wrath.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T hroughout the entire history of the Academy Awards, the Best Picture trophy has never gone to a film primarily about the economic plight of white working-class Americans. On the Waterfront probably comes the closest, although that is more of a Mob drama about tribal loyalty.

And On the Waterfront came out 66 years ago. As the white working class turned away from the Democratic Party, Hollywood lost interest in the white working class, even as three of the last seven Best Picture winners have covered the sufferings of black Americans. So it’s surprising that perhaps the leading Oscar contender of the

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