Arts + Culture » Film + TV

Nebraska

The long walk to fortune

by

comment
There’s always time for a simple story, well told. Alexander Payne grew up in Nebraska, and this is less a love letter than an old photo album. Bruce Dern is Woody Grant, who has dementia and believes he’s won a million dollars in a Publishers Clearing House-style scam. He can no longer drive so he’s decided to walk from his home in Billings, Montana to Lincoln, NE—1,300 kilometres. His son David (Will Forte, in an uncharacteristically toned-down appearance), a stereo salesperson going through a breakup, decides to take him, even though he knows the outcome. They stop in Woody’s hometown of Hawthorne, the kind of working-class place where the unemployment rate is sky-high, everyone remembers your business and there’s nobody under 40 left. As Woody drinks and shuffles his way around Hawthorne, more is revealed about his quiet yet cantankerous nature, and a great character study emerges. Shot in black and white, Payne nails the authenticity of small, broken towns, with their framed photos and desolate Main Streets, populated by ex-dreamers and lifelong drunks. Nebraska lacks the sourness that permeates the likes of Sideways and The Descendants, trading it in for straight deadpan, to better and more lasting effect. This is a terrific movie.

Related Film

Nebraska

Official Site: NebraskaMovie.com

Director: Alexander Payne

Writer: Bob Nelson

Cast: Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Will Forte, Stacy Keach, Devin Ratray, Rance Howard, Missy Doty and Bob Odenkirk

Add a comment

Remember, it's entirely possible to disagree without spiralling into a thread of negativity and personal attacks. We have the right to remove (and you have the right to report) any comments that go against our policy.