“Nebraska” Movie Review
If you know anything about this film it’ll probably be the fact that it’s shot entirely in black and white. Please do not let that put you off; I assure you Alexander Payne has created an absolute masterpiece that more than deserves all of the awards and nominations it has received.
The film follows an old man called Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) who is convinced that he has won a million dollars despite the fact it is an obvious scam. Woody becomes so desperate to get to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect his winnings that he begins to walk there. His son David (Will Forte) eventually resolves to drive his father there so he can put an end to the problem and hopefully spend some time with his father who most people presume won’t live much longer because of his alcoholism.
Much of the praise this film has received has been for Bruce Dern’s performance which is certainly justified. It’s a miracle that he managed to make an alcoholic, irritable and sometimes unpleasant old man so likeable. Dern captures the vulnerability and stubbornness that comes with age and his nomination for Best Actor at the Oscars is more than justified and it’s a shame, in my opinion, that he probably won’t win due to the other strong performances this year in that category. More importantly the entire cast of Nebraska is fantastic. No one puts a foot wrong and everyone is believable. This is shown exceptionally well in the scenes where the entire Grant family are together because you really believe this an extended family quarrelling with each other.
Alexander Payne must also be praised for his part in the film’s creation. He pushed extremely hard to be allowed to shoot the film in black and white and it certainly pays off. The regular use of the Nebraska landscape coupled with black and white creates an image of immense bleakness which is somehow stunning at the same time and it’s no surprise that the film is also nominated for Best Cinematography.
I genuinely have no criticisms for this film. Nebraska is a poignant yet uplifting film which is also funny and sad in equal measure. It is an absolute must-watch and certainly one of the best films that came out last year.