Review by David Stratton
Woody Grant, BRUCE DERN, is a stubborn, crotchety old man who lives in Billings, Montana. He's become convinced he's won $1 million in a sweepstake and is certain he has to front up at an office in Lincoln, Nebraska, 1,367 km away, to collect his winnings. Woody refuses to believe his wife, Kate, JUNE SQUIBB, or son David, WILL FORTE, when they tell him it's just a promotion and he hasn't won a thing. Woody is so determined to get to Lincoln that David, a salesman who recently broke up with his girlfriend, finally agrees to drive him there - but there are several detours along the way.
Bruce Dern is at the top of his game in this film.
It’s not often an actor gets the best role of his career at age 77, especially when that actor is Bruce Dern, who has more than a dozen great performances on a resume that dates back to the 1960s. But in Alexander Payne’s latest film, Dern is nothing short of magnificent. What a joy it is to watch him playing such a miserable SOB.
Shot in beautiful tones of black and white (and silver and gray), “Nebraska” is steeped in nostalgia, regret and bittersweet moments. Yet it’s also a pitch-perfect cinematic poem about the times we live in.