In my attempts to watch everything nominated for the Academy Awards, I was afraid that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to see Nebraska before the actual ceremony. It was the one movie I knew least about, and honestly, Ames doesn’t usually get those types of movies.
We didn’t even get Silver Linings Playbook until weeks after last year’s Oscars!
But hey, maybe things are now on the upside in this city!
Maybe this whole story is just another Jesus allegory.
The story is about Woody Grant (Bruce Dern), a very old man who has won a million dollars.
Or at least, that is what he believes. He has received a letter in the mail that says he has won the million dollars, but it is a publisher clearing house like thing, and most definitely a scam to buy magazines. He doesn’t care. He wants to go to Lincoln, Nebraska to claim it, as he doesn’t trust the mail with a million dollars, and will walk there if he has to (from Billings, Montana).
Fed up with his own current situation in life, his youngest son David (Will Forte) agrees to drive him to Nebraska. David is also tired of having to find his dad wandering the streets and highways.
Yep, we got ourselves a road trip movie, although a stranger one than most given the characters involved. Due to some complications, they end up having to spend a few days in Woody’s hometown, a few hours outside of Lincoln. That means Woody is stuck dealing with old family and friends, when he just wants to get his money and run. Although, being treated as a rich celebrity comes with its perks as well…
June Squibb plays his wife, Bob Odenkirk his other son, and Stacy Keach his old business partner.
Ah yes, the whole family, looking all black and white.
In case you didn’t notice, Nebraska is a black and white movie. I think it was done that way in order to enhance the themes. You know, the ones about getting old, repressed memories, and living in a simpler time.
The director is Alexander Payne, and apparently I have seen the last six movies he has made, including Citizen Ruth from 1996. Sure, I was only 8-9 at the time, and probably not intellectually capable enough to understand a dark comedy about the abortion debate, but I remember still finding it entertaining.
Looking back at Payne’s work, he is an diverse director, covering a wide range of subjects. A few of them about getting older, but none about getting this old.
Dern was excellent as the main character, and Squibb was cute as his ever nagging wife. I am surprised there is no talk about Forte in this movie, as he is a central character, going through his own journey alongside Dern. But I guess it takes a lot for a former SNL cast member to really get praise. Either way, the cast had great chemistry together, and they really felt like a family.
It was a very simple movie, where silence carries a lot of weight, but yet it is still a movie that is not afraid to surprise you either. I don’t see it actually winning any of the awards come March, but I can understand how each person earned their nomination.
Not my favorite movie from 2013 by any means, but a very solid movie.
3 out of 4.