Nebraska (15)

Nov 19, 2014
Cranbrook Film Society

Part classic road movie, part Canterbury Tale, with a touch of King Lear. This film is slow paced, mesmerizing, sometimes very funny. A son tries to get through to a father he does not understand, on a road trip through Nebraska. Rich characters enliven small town America. June Squibb (Mum) steals the show.

Alexander Payne | USA | 2013 | 115 minutes | 15

Film notes:

Nebraska’ is the story of a frail old man, Woody Grant, who drinks too much and has convinced himself that he has won a million dollars in a magazine marketing competition. He is determined to travel from his home in Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska to pick up his winnings. The film ‘Nebraska’, shot in elegant black and white, will remind long-serving CFS members of ‘The Straight Story’, and indeed director Alexander Page acknowledges his debt to David Lynch and the earlier film, much enjoyed by our audience some years ago. Members who have seen ‘Election’, ‘About Schmidt’ and ‘Sideways’ will probably remember Payne’s ability to explore both character and context. The director has a very sharp eye for detail, a particular fascination with forgotten, small-town America and a caustic sense of humour.

His cast serve him brilliantly, particularly June Squibb as the foul-mouthed wife, Kate (watch out for her in the cemetery scene), and Will Forte as Woody’s long-suffering son David who reluctantly agrees to drive his father on his odyssey. Above all, Bruce Dern’s performance as Woody, a tired and forgetful old curmudgeon who ‘doesn’t have Alzheimers – he’s just a man who believes what people tell him’ is a remarkable achievement which earned him an Oscar nomination, a Golden Globe, Best Actor at Cannes (2013) and several other awards.

John Badcock


            Weighted vote 85.4%