An elderly man who mistakenly believes he has won a million pounds is indulged by his son who takes him on a long journey to collect his ‘prize’.
Director Alexander Payne has a very subtle, low key style to his films ( The Descendants, Sideways, About Schmidt) and this continues with Nebraska. Filmed in black & white but still looking beautiful and with no big names to speak of (but plenty of great acting), I really enjoyed Nebraska. Veteran actor Bruce Dern was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of alcoholic, ‘man of few words’ Woody (think a less cartoonish Clint Eastwood from Gran Torino). Will Forte and Breaking Bad’s Bob Odenkirk also excel as the sons. Nebraska is touching, dark but laugh out loud funny (very Coen Brothers) and thought provoking. It has a gentle message to not write off the older generation but it isn’t heavy handed and is also a love letter to the American Midwest and Americana. Woody himself could have walked straight out of a Tom Waits song or a Bukowski novel and the supporting characters flesh out Woody’s life beautifully. If you enjoyed Payne’s previous work – watch Nebraska.