Tag Archives: Bruce Dern

Interview: Alexander Payne Sees Nebraska in Black & White

nebraskaint1It’s been less than two years since Alexander Payne scored his second Academy Award for The Descendants, but he’s already circling for another round of awards buzz with his latest feature Nebraska.

Bruce Dern leads as Woody Grant, an elderly man determined to make it to Lincoln, Nebraska so he can pick up the million-dollar prize he thinks he won in a marketing campaign. His son David (Will Forte) tries to convince him the letter is just a scam, but Woody is relentless. Even though his mother (June Squibb) and brother (Bob Odenkirk) protest, David decides to ride the scenario out for the sake of Woody’s mental and emotional stability, and drives him from Montana to Nebraska.

Even though Payne hits it big yet again by achieving notably natural performances and a combination of comedy and drama that produces beautifully bittersweet results, he also treads into unfamiliar territory because Nebraska is shot entirely in black and white.

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NYFF 2013 Review: Nebraska

Nebraska_Poster“Nebraska” is packed with hilarious material, but it’s all rooted in a brutally candid presentation of old age, resulting in a unique and especially thoughtful union of quirky comedy and honesty.

Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is convinced that he won a million dollars. His son, David (Will Forte), points out the obvious – that the letter is nothing more than a scam – but Woody insists on traveling from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect his winnings. In an effort to keep his father happy and mentally sound, David hops in his Subaru to take his father on the 750-mile trip, much to his mother’s (June Squibb) chagrin.

Considering the abundance of bogus big money sweepstakes, the inciting incident serves as an ideal starting point. Like David, you know the operation is a cheat, but, at the same time, seeing, “You’ve just won $1,000,000,” in black and white can make your heart skip a beat, granting access to both characters.

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