Note: Originally written in September 2015
Watching Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" is like browsing through a very old family picture book, with people who are in those pictures. You not only get to see the people from erstwhile times, but also hear stories of their good times, the bad times, their idiosynchracies, merits and flaws. You recognize the humor that was between them and at the same time acknowledge the rifts in the relations that prevailed. 'Nebraska' is surely such a picture album portraying the life and times of Woody Grant, played so emphatically by Bruce Dern. He's so good at this role that he pulls of the pride of a lifetime in a single grimace in a comical bar scene, where he is applauded for supposedly winning a million dollars in a raffle. This raffle win, is the intelligent device around which screenwriter Bob Nelson creates the aforementioned portrayal of the life of Woody Grant. Through this, we get to experience his childhood, his family, his fancies, his whims and his penultimate aspirations for life. Will Forte and June Squibb add in a much affable dimension to the proceedings, the latter more so. The film is shot in gorgeous black and white, that sub-textually justifies my argument about the film being an old picture book. And just like with a picture book, one is left with a smile, a nostalgic tinge and a bittersweet longing as the movie concludes.
Read more on the film at IMDB and Letterboxd.
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