Nebraska

(USA, 2013, 114 mins, DCP)
Canadian Premiere
Director:
Cast Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach
EXEC PRODS George Parra, Julie M. Thompson
PRODS Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa
SCR Bob Nelson
CAM Phedon Papamichael
ED Kevin Tent
PROD DES J. Dennis Washington
MUS Mark Orton
PROD CO Bona Fide Productions
Classification:
Guests in attendance.

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After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern, Best Actor winner at Cannes) thinks he’s struck it rich, and wrangles his son (Will Forte, Saturday Night Live) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune. Shot in black and white across four states, Nebraska tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America.

"A bittersweet elegy for the American extended family… The story centres on David Grant (Forte), an aimless man in his mid-40s, who drives his alcoholic and possibly senile father Woody to Hawthorne, Nebraska, the Midwest town of his birth. The original aim of the trip is not reconciliation, but hard cash: Woody, played by a wonderfully dazed Bruce Dern, has received a leaflet in the post that suggests he may have won $1 million in a lottery… The Grant family ties are well-frayed already, and Bob Nelson’s script uses Woody’s nonexistent ‘win’ as a way to pick them apart even further, while also delivering some tender passages of minor-key comedy. Later in the film, David’s mother and elder brother Ross (Bob Odenkirk, from the TV series Breaking Bad) also pitch up in Hawthorne, and her blunt appraisals of former friends now laid to rest in the town cemetery are hilariously bleak, but also perversely soothing. [This is a] resounding return to form for Payne: there are moments that recall About Schmidt and Sideways, but it has a wistful, shuffling, grizzly-bearish rhythm all of its own."—Robbie Collin, Telegraph

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