Road to the Oscars: Nebraska is a 2013 drama film nominated for six Academy Awards at this years Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay.
What’s it About?
Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) an elderly and alcoholic patriarch receives a letter from a sweepstakes prize, telling him he has won $1 million dollars and must travel to Lincoln, Nebraska in order to collect the reward. However, while he does whatever it takes to get there, he faces criticism from his nagging wife Kate (June Squibb) and son David (Will Forte).
Nebraska is a wonderfully direct film from Alexander Payne, it’s told in a picturesque black-and-white format that fully embodies the setting and tale that the film is telling without giving you an obnoxious “hipster” vibe.
The story itself lacks a little bit of substance and so you’ll begin to find yourself wanting the narrative to progress on a little faster but it’s ultimately the fantastic acting that keeps you hooked and intrigued. Bruce Dern as our leading man paints the picture of a sombre man full of desperation and even without dialogue, it’s clear to read the kind of life he’s lived purely through facial expressions. June Squibb is the scene stealer of the flick though, she breathes life and humour into every scene she’s in, to the point where you miss her absence and really wish she was in the movie more. Rounding off the three leads, is Will Forte, who isn’t known for his dramatic work but impressively strikes up an emotive performance as the son of Dern’s emotionally estranged father, and the two of them share an unquestionable chemistry.
It’s Academy Award nominated screenplay by Bob Nelson is full of subtle yet effective humour that softens the harder moments in a way without taking out the resulting impact they have. It’s ending, although predictable in some sense, still offers resolution and one deserving of the characters that we become connected to by the time it’s all over.
A well-deserved Oscar contender, Nebraska has a plot that doesn’t seem all to interesting, but it’s the characters and the fantastic acting that will make you enjoy the movie, even if it takes you a while to fully realise it’s greatness.