Born in Omaha, Nebraska, filmmaker Alexander Payne has a knack for finding poetry and wit in the everyday mundane lives of ordinary Americans. So, he’s the perfect director for Bob Nelson’s story from the Heartland titled “Nebraska”, filmed entirely in black and white.
Screen legend Bruce Dern plays Woody, a man in his senior years who like so many ordinary Americans today, finds himself at the end of a long road of missed opportunities, dashed dreams and futile choices.
A road trip, “Nebraska” follows Woody and his son Dave (played by Will Forte) as they drive across the open bluffs and pastures of the Midwest to collect money from a mail-sweepstakes prize that really doesn’t exist. A journey that challenges a father and son’s dysfunctional relationship and forces each of them to examine their own personal struggles to “be somebody” in life.
I attended the 2013 AFI FEST Gala screening of “Nebraska”. And having grown up in the Midwest myself, it’s refreshing to see a film that so accurately portrays its people and culture, and with such grace and humor.
Bruce and Will are supported by an equally talented cast of actors, which include Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach and June Squibb.