April 11, 2014 6:12 pm

Nebraska – DVD review

Alexander Payne’s poetic, painful and, at times, painfully funny tribute to his Nebraskan roots

Alexander Payne

Paramount

Compared with the lush Hawaiian hills of The Descendants and the Pinot-scented vineyards of Sideways, dusty, featureless Nebraska seems an oddly flat choice of locale for an Alexander Payne film.

Shot in stark monochrome, this is a poetic, painful and, at times, painfully funny tribute to the director’s Nebraskan roots (he was born in the state’s largest city, Omaha).

Bruce Dern plays Woody, a dishevelled alcoholic on the brink of senility who is convinced that he has won $1m, if only he can get to the state capital Lincoln to collect it. Taking pity, his son David, drives him cross-country, stopping off in Woody’s home town, where an assortment of sad laggards learn of his win and are determined to join the party. Poignant.


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