Nebraska (Alexander Payne, 2013): USA

Reviewed by Lori Panossian Viewed at AFI FEST 2013, LA.

Out of all the 12 movie I saw during the AFI Fest 2013, Nebraska definitely was my favorite one.
This movie is pure genius.
When Alexander Payne, the director, introduced his movie and said that it was a black&white movie I thought it would be a weird, “wannabe” old school movie, but I was wrong. This is a new classic 21st century Hollywood movie, but filmed in black&white. I have to be honest and say that I don’t really see the reason why they chose to do the movie in black&white though. I had some trouble figuring out what year it was supposed to represent. But I think it was a fun and different way of doing it.
Bruce Dern plays the role of Woody Grant, an old and confused, but still smart and sharp man that got a letter saying he won one million dollars. To get this money, he has to go to Nebraska. The only problem is that no one wants to take him there, since they all think/know that the letter he got only is a fake flyer. His wife, Kate (June Squibb), plays this funny lady that really speaks her mind. The perfect way to describe her relationship with her senile husband is with this quote – “Do you know what I would do with a million dollars?, put him in a home!” Her character and the thing she says is what makes the movie more of a comedy then a drama/adventure as IMDB chose to call it. After all the trouble that Woody puts his family trough, his son David (Will Forte), finally decide to take him to Nebraska. You get to follow these amazing characters on their way to the million dollars.
There is some sort of sadness trough the whole movie, but it’s the kind of sadness that makes your heart warm, a cute sadness.
After listening to a 45 minute long interview with Bruce Dern before the movie started, I have to say that I think they couldn’t have chosen a better person in the world to play the character of Woody Grant. You can tell that Mr. Dern has been in the business for a long time. His way of getting in to the role is just amazing.
One way to see that this is a 21st century movie is the short scenes, created to make the viewer think and feel in a special way. The creators choose your emotions. In addition to that, the perfectly chosen external music also steer your feelings in one direction.
The beautiful photography is something that really stands out in this film. You can tell that the creators did some heavy research on where to film this movie.
I deeply recommend you to see Nebraska, it you don’t, you’re missing out on a beautiful made masterpiece.


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