2013 / Director. Alexander Payne.
Review by Glenn Cochrane.
Bruce Dern plays Woody, an elderly man, who believes he won $1M when he receives a scam promotion in the mail. Despite his family's insistence that he hasn't won a cent he seizes every opportunity to walk to Lincoln, Nebraska, to retrieve his winnings. When his son realises that there's no stopping the old man he offers to drive him there, using the time to try bond. Along the way they visit Woody's childhood town where the entire township learns of Woody's newfound wealth and suddenly be becomes a local celebrity and everyone wants a piece of the pie. Filmed in black & white, Alexander Payne has pieced together a simple, yet moving story. Each film he makes feels more mature than the previous and he's becoming one of my favourite modern filmmakers. Bruce Dern is amazing in the lead and deserved of every accolade he received. Also incredible is June Squibb who brings a heart full of humour to the film as Woody's long suffering wife. She is superb. Will Forte is perfectly cast as their son who struggles to convince his father of the deception and desperately attempts to protect him from the ugliness that comes with such a "win". The black & white cinematography looks gorgeous too and emphasises the stark and desolate landscape that symbolises the psychology of Woody's mind and life's struggle. Everything works here. I'm sure that the film will test a lot of people's patience but if you're not already a fan of Alexander Payne then perhaps you're not going to bother. It had me glued from start to finish and at times it cast my memory back to David Lynch's superb A STRAIGHT STORY. NEBRASKA is understated and skilfully directed.