Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Father And Son (Movie Review, Nebraska)

There comes a point in our lives when our parents become our children. It's really not a sad inevitability, just an inevitability. Alexander Payne's "Nebraska" captures a feeling. It's not a movie that tells a grand story - there's a stark minimalism in the plot that matches the gorgeous black and white cinematography.  Bruce Dern plays Woody, who receives one of those false sweepstakes letters with a marketing come on that the recipient may have won a million dollars. Stubbornly, he wants to go to Lincoln, Nebraska to claim he price. His son, David humours him, and drives him there, with stops along the way.  The film is introspective - we get to see Woody's life through various people's eyes. The movie doesn't really move a lot, until we realize we are just getting to know the characters deeply, and yes, that is enough. Dern is tremendous: the best role of his career which won him a nod from Cannes Film Festival. He is stoic, irritable, irritating, annoying. There are layers in his performance I suspect I haven;t even gotten to. I thought Will Forte, as David, was just as brilliant. His character is more a set-up for Dern, but it's just as soulful, and in my opinion, Dern's would not work as well without it. Squibb, as Woody's wife, gives a more showy performance, and for me is sometimes a distraction. But all in all, this is one of those movies that will stay with you. It may not catch you right away, but I bet it will linger.

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