Director: Alexander Payne
Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte
Nebraska is one of those gems that emerge from time to time which justifiably out shadow the $100 million blockbusters.
Bruce Dern plays the role of Woody Grant, an aging alcoholic on the verge of becoming senile, who wants to walk from Montana to Nebraska to collect $1million which he believes he has won in a mega sweepstakes marketing campaign.
His son David (Will Forte), who realises it's just a mail scam, takes the journey with him and along the way have many misadventures whilst visiting friends and relations who believe they are all entitled to a cut of the winnings.
Dern is a perfect choice as Woody. The rest of the actors assembled to play the very average and 'un-beautiful' characters are also brilliantly cast. Effectively filmed in glorious black and white the extended shots of the desolate and colourless surrounding landscapes highlight the monotonous, wasteful and unfulfilled lifestyles these characters lead.
Nebraska is a road trip film best described as a 'dramedy' with a witty script and plenty of laugh-out-loud humour. This simplistic study of family relations touches dysfunctionality and also explores the dark side of human nature.
Triumphant, hilarious and heartfelt at times, estranged father and son are ultimately both winners. Their journey to Nebraska has not been a complete waste as they have reconnected and David has learnt new things about his father from those who knew him best in years gone by. JAKE