NEBRASKA (2013)

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ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS

  • Best Picture (Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa – Producers)
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role (Bruce Dern)
  • Best Actress in a Supporting Role (June Squibb)
  • Best Cinematography (Phedon Papamichael)
  • Best Director (Alexander Payne)
  • Best Original Screenplay (Bob Nelson)

Christopher

This movie might be my favorite of the year, only second to Cutie and The Boxer. (I was saying Spring Breakers but I really had no clue it was from 2012 not 2013. . . ) Every shot in the movie is so beautiful and I want to go to these places and drink beer at these bars. If I made a movie I would hope it would look similar. I feel like I could really relate to Will Forte’s character, not in his relationship with his dad but just in trying to help and legitimately being interested in what other people had to say. I would watch this movie again, multiple times, and hopefully not too far down the road from now. If you have not seen this I would really recommend this being one of the main ones you see before the Oscars. IT’S DA BESS

Elizabeth

I liked Nebraska a lot, and for a number of reasons.

It was shot beautifully, as if instead of establishing shots, there are postcards. Even though it’s filmed in black and white during a dreary Midwestern fall, everything still looked beautiful. Maybe I’m biased because so much of it reminded me of the Illinois town where I graduated high school, but I think that Phedon Papamichael might just be a genius cinematographer.

I also really loved the characters, especially David (Will Forte). He sort of reminded me of Chris, minus the crappy retail job and lack of girlfriend. But David is very sweet without being a doormat; he’s kind and inquisitive and it’s clear that although he’s continually frustrated with his father, Woody (Bruce Dern), he also wants to spend time with him as father and son, and wants to know about Woody’s life and who is he is. I also loved David’s mom/Woody’s wife, Kate (June Squibb). Chris mentioned a couple of times that she reminded him of my mom, which I don’t really see at all except for the fact that she’s protective and won’t take shit from people when it comes to her family. Kate is crass and sometimes mean, but she’s also an older lady from a small Midwestern town who married into a family that clearly didn’t really want anything to do with her. She definitely wasn’t the most pleasant character ever, but the more time the movie spent with her, the more her true colors as a mother really showed. In general, the Grant family (Woody, Kate, David, and David’s brother Ross, played by Bob Odenkirk) had a really great chemistry. They were all nice, but also a little mean when necessary, the sons obviously cared about protecting and helping their parents, and, well, the parents just sort of did their best.

And another thing I loved was how not devastating Nebraska is. After The Hunt and Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death, I haven’t really been in the mood for a movie that just makes you want to kill yourself. I hadn’t really known what Nebraska was about before I saw it, I just knew that it had Bruce Dern and Will Forte. Had I known it was about a father and son traveling together as the father becomes senile, I would have really resisted seeing it because that sounds terrible. The main plot of the movie is that Woody has received a letter from a Publisher’s Clearinghouse-type of place that has made him convinced he won a million dollars and needs to go to Lincoln, Nebraska to pick it up. Instead they wind up in Hawthorne, Nebraska, where Woody grew up and where his family still lives. Rumor travels fast through the small town that Woody is a millionaire, making all kinds of people come out and ask for repayment for past debts. So, normally, I would have no interest in seeing a movie about a confused old man thinking he’s won a ton of money. It just sounds too sad. But somehow, the whole cast (especially Bruce Dern and Will Forte), along with the script, just makes it not that sad. I don’t really know how, maybe because Woody’s senility is not a new development for his characters. But whatever it is, it makes Nebraska go from possibly unwatchable to great.

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4 thoughts on “NEBRASKA (2013)

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