A small gem called NEBRASKA.
Well it’s a dramedy starring 77 year-old Bruce Dern who incidentally won the covenant Best Actor prize for his superb performance in the film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.
In NEBRASKA Dern plays cantankerous old-timer Woody Grant who receives a winning sweepstakes certificate in the mail one day.
Of course it is, but don’t tell that to Woody who won’t hear of it and sets out on a road trip to Lincoln to claim his million dollar winnings.
His cranky wife (June Squibb) and both of his sons (Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk) all try their damndest to persuade him not to go.
But when everything fails, Forte reluctantly agrees to accompany dad on his 850 mile track from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska.
And what a journey it becomes.
Especially when father and son decide to stop at Woody’s old home town where everyone now believes that he’s become a millionaire. Especially Woody’s former business partner (Stacey Keach) who thinks Woody still owes him money.
There’s no denying it, we really feel for this befuddled yet determined old man—especially the closer we get to him ultimately coming to grips with the sham.
Now let’s talk about the guy behind this movie.
This one though marks Payne’s first film that he didn’t write as well. Those credits go to Bob Nelson.
Another aspect about NEBRASKA to keep in mind; it was filmed in glorious black and white—make that crisp black and white. And it really works for the tone and feel of this boisterous odyssey
Think THE LAST PICTURE SHOW.
If you think that I’m gushing over this small budgeted charmer…..well, I am.
And I’m not alone.
Earlier this week NEBRASKA received six (independent) Spirit Award nominations including Best Picture, Best Director-Alexander Payne, Best Male Actor-Bruce Dern, Best Supporting Actor-Will Forte, Best Female Supporting Actress-June Squibb and Best Screenplay.
The movie opens as an exclusive engagement this holiday week at the Glenwood Arts in Overland Park, then platforms out to additional theaters in coming weeks.
NEBRASKA garnering an A- from this reviewer.
JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES—Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. and 8:40 a.m. on KMBZ AM & FM / And anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411.