An aged and alcoholic Bruce Dern is determined to get to Lincoln, Nebraska in order to pick up his $1 million winnings in the comedy drama Nebraska. Review after the jump.
As soon as we hear that Alexander Payne has directed a movie, we want to see it. The man has already made some excellent films in the past, just look at The Descendants, About Schmidt, Sideways and Election and, luckily for us, Nebraska is just as good as those mentioned.
Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is an over-the-hill drunk who believes he has won $1 million from a coupon he received for magazine subscriptions. In order to claim the so called prize, he needs to hand the coupon in personally to an office in Lincoln, Nebraska. With no means of transport, Woody sets off on foot, much to the dismay of his wife and two sons.
Nebraska is shown in black and white and the look totally suits the film. Payne shows small-town America perfectly with the use of wide angles lens and stereotypical characters. The screenplay, which is also stellar, is mixed with heartfelt scenes regarding life and death, especially the deterioration of Woody, and pinpoint humour.
As for the performances, Bob Odenkirk (Breaking Bad) and Will Forte are excellent as his Woody’s sons, as is June Squibb as his firecracker wife. The star is certainly Dern though. He portrays Woody perfectly and is certainly worthy of his Oscar nomination.
Nebraska is a well-made piece about families and life itself. The performance of Bruce Dern is simply mesmorising as Woody Grant.