Starring Bob Odenkirk, Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Stacy Keach and Will Forte and directed by Alexander Payne, Oscar-nominated film Nebraska focuses on father and son Woody and David played by Bruce Dern and Will Forte as they take an awkward road trip together. It is a melancholic take on family relationships, the disappointments we face in life and growing old with grace.
Woody s a fiery old man who is an alcoholic and is residing in retirement in Montana. He thinks that he is the winner of a million dollar sweepstakes and heads off on this cross-state journey to get his winnings. Woody has been sent a junk-mail flyer telling him that he has won a lottery payout of $1m. He doesn’t trust the message so he says that he will collect it in person from an office in Nebraska. Because David wants to spend time with his father, he offers to drive.But after a few days, Woody realises it isn’t true. On the journey they come across a family reunion in his nearby hometown of Hawthorne and here sad family secrets are brought to the forefront.
The journey, though started by the hope of material riches, becomes more than that as David realises that his perception of his father as been boring and dull is untrue and that his father’s past was filled with an interesting array of situations including a complicated love life and an amazing record in the war in Korea.
Reminiscent of the independent cinema of Jerry Schatzberg and Bob Rafelson, the movie is shot beautifully in monochrome with stunning performances from both Dern and Forte as well as June Squibb in the role of Woody’s wife Kate. It has the perfect amount of humour and drama and is a must see film.