Friday, November 22, 2013
'Nebraska' is the latest from Alexander Payne, who has given us increasingly interesting films like 'Election', 'About Schmidt', 'Sideways', and 'The Descendants', though this is the only one that wasn't written by Payne himself. In fact, Payne read this script nine years ago, and has been trying to make it ever since. But his insistence that it be made in black & white was a hurdle that made it a challenge to get financing for, even with his prior successes.
Bruce Dern plays an aging alcoholic determined to get to Nebraska to collect the million dollars he believes he won according to a sweepstakes entry form he received in the mail. And some much needed family bonding occurs when his son, played by SNL's Will Forte, agrees to take him. It's a great premise for an Alexander Payne film, but this one's quirkier and less poignant than his prior works. Considering the subject matter it could have been dealt with in a much more emotional way, but it really isn't. And I think it would be better if it had. I just didn't feel any connection to any of the characters. Though it is a lightly comic, quirky film that may be worth seeing, but not worthy of its buzzed about awards consideration.