NEBRASKA Movie Review

There is a lot more going on here then you first glean from the first five minutes of this film, from the beginning of the film we see Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) trudging along a highway to Nebraska to collect €1,000,000.00 . He is collected by his youngest son David(Will Forte) who is worried for his fathers well-being. When David realizes he can’t persuade his father to abandon this hopeless endeavour he decides to take his father to Nebraska to collect his winnings. Along this  journey David  learns so much more about his father then he previously knew.

Nebraska is an unusual  film, I wasn’t sure what I  was sitting down to watch. Was  it going to be an offbeat comedy in the style of a Wes Anderson film or was it going to be a wordy sophisticated piece  of  cinema like a Woody Allen film. I looked into Alexander Payne’s work and found films like About Schmidt, Sideways and The Descendants. All Payne’s films, all award winning films. I won’t try and pretend I have seen them but I know enough to know Alexander Payne is one hell of a director. With Nebraska you feel that  Payne understands the nuance’s of family  life, all the quirks, all the troubles and all the wonderful little moments littered in between. This is a real character driven film, centred  around the Grant family, Woody, Kate and their sons Ross and David. Woody and David are  a wonderful pair, each getting  to shine through at various points of the  film (Dern and Forte give great performances). Not a true comedy  this film is more a drama/comedy hybrid. The situation is far too real and the characters too organic to allow for any kind of absurdity.


Aside from some great performances from the main cast the film feels flat. Stacy Keach plays the usual  kind of villain in this kind of film, the old “friend” who opens up old wounds. It’s a fine role but I was interested at all, the supporting cast at times were at odds with the main cast, bringing down the quality of the film. It’s  not completely like this across the board as there are some wonderful moments throughout the film when David learns something new about his father. There is a wonderful little love story sub-plot thrown in midway through the film that feels organic and I would have liked to seen that explored more.  If there is one complaint I had it would be that the film ran a little long.

With strong performances from Bruce Dern and Will Forte this film is one to watch,even if the film does dip at points.

The Author

Graham Day

Graham Day

I am a geek first and foremost. I love animation, film and comics. I live in Dublin, Ireland and love it. I have met so many amazing people over the years, Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Mark Millar and Scott Snyder to name but a few. I love to sketch, write and talk about geek news. I went to college for five years, three years animation and two years communication and media. All opinions are my own so I hope they're witty and original, I'm fairly certain they're not.

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