Tonight I watched my fourth best-picture nominated flick Nebraska.
Nebraska, written by Bob Nelson and directed by Alexander Payne is a movie shot completely in black and white and stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb and Bob Odenkirk, among others.
The movie is a story about a family where the father, Woody Grant (played by Dern), is an elderly, alcoholic, borderline Alzheimer’s coping man who receives a flyer in the mail claiming that he won a million-dollar prize in Lincoln, Nebraska. At the start of the film Woody is making an attempt to travel to Lincoln from Billings, Montana, where he and his family currently lives.
David (Forte) is forced to wrangle up his father and continually bring him back to his home with each of his father’s early attempts to pursue his prize. He continually resists assertions from his brother Ross (Odenkirk) and mom, Kate (Squibb) that they need to put his father in a home.
But, one day, David eventually gives in. Desperate for some time to escape from his life he agrees to go on the journey to Lincoln to suffice his father’s delusions.
Throughout their journey the duo run into long-lost family members and friends who circle like vultures at the prospect of getting a taste of the potential money. While some people offer genuine concern for Woody, the majority of the film not focused on the immediate grant family has some sort of person inquiring about Woody’s potential influx of cash.
The major themes in the movie revolve around family. The flick addresses subject like how we treat one another, the ways people close to you can manipulate one another and what we do for people when they need it the most. There is also a tinge to the movie that feels like a commentary on what motivates humanity that I dug.
I’m also a big fan of the black and white vibe:
I think the choice to go with black and white really added an additional factor to the flick. It enhanced the cut and dry quality of the subject matter and also worked to show the economic reality of the setting.
Dern, Forte, Squibb and Odenkirk all give great performances. the relationship between Dern and Forte drives the film and Squibb delivers some of the funniest (and at other times cruel) lines of the film.
And while I love the performances and a lot of the subject matter, I don’t think the film has the power to get the big award.
Bottom Line: Go watch the film. You can rent it now on a lot of platforms. Metacritic on IMDB gave it an 86 and I would say that is about right. The film isn’t ripe with action, it’s more about the nuances of character that make the film work so well.