Sunday 2 March 2014


The penultimate film to check off my Best Picture list was Alexander Payne's comedy, Nebraska. I had to admit, I wasn't too excited about this one, and was convinced I wasn't going to like it... But how wrong was I?!

Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is your typical grumpy old man. With a wife and two sons who are convinced that he's losing it, Woody has taken ignoring them, not talking, not listening, and just getting on with his life. His latest mission - a trip to Lincoln to collect a million dollars, which he, according to a spam letter he received in the post, he has won. Nobody believes him, but his son David (Will Forte) agrees to drive him anyway, as a chance to spend some quality time with him, and to shut him up. The two set off, making a detour in his Woody's childhood town where he is a local celebrity "millionaire". But as to be expected when returning to your past, drama of course awaits, as well as and the unveiling of buried secrets long forgotten. The question is, will Woody make it to Nebraska?

The film, in a lot of ways, was slightly similar to August: Osage County. Nostalgic trips home, nutty relatives, and all the ups and downs that come with it. But it made me realise why A:OC wasn't nominated. Nebraska is all of these things, but more clever. It's subtle, the lesser known cast make the story more naturally believable, and what's more, from start to finish the film was absolutely stunning.

No joke intended, there's nothing new and black and white filming. The Oscar-winning hit The Artist of course instantly comes to mind. But applying a black and white filter to a modern day film is even more interesting. It blurs lines, causes less distractions and, as I saw one critic describe it, it gives Nebraska that "classic" feel. It also adds to the film's black humour, but at the same time, gives every shot, no matter how mundane, a great beauty. Look out for the curvy corners on the film too. I also loved the occasional real-time filming, and the two effects fused to make one of my favourite scenes in the film; the men of the family watching a game on TV.

The cast were all so great, especially the four Grant family members. Bruce Dern plays the line between loveable and insufferable; Bob Odenkirk plays Woody's eldest, prodigal son Ross, and Will Forte is, well, his David, the quiet, slightly pathetic, hero of the movie. And who could miss June Squibb's incredible performance as Woody's wife Kate? She is just so hideously wonderful.

Nebraska is a wonderful piece of Americana cinema and I giggled from start to finish. I so hope that it doesn't get overlooked tomorrow night.


No comments:

Post a Comment