Nebraska is a beautiful beautiful state full of wonderful people. Being from Nebraska it only makes sense that my first movie review be of a film from my home state. This movie, directed my Alexander Payne (The Descendants) who is originally from Omaha, Nebraska, was filmed in different small towns around Norfolk, Nebraska (pronounced Nor-FORK, not Nor-FOLK). The film is in black and white, which is not only daring but also makes complete sense. I actually loved that part of the film and honestly it did not bother me one bit. The movie stars Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and June Squibb.
Certainly, my favorite character is that of Kate Grant, played by June Squibb. She is a firecracker who does not care what she says or what others think. She has her own opinion and you better believe it is the right one. Kate is the comedic relief throughout the movie and by comedic relief I mean that every time she appears on screen – giggles from the audience will soon commence. She is great and brilliant and I am so happy she has been nominated for both a Golden Globe and Oscar among others.
Bruce Dern (also nominated for a Golden Globe and Oscar) portrays Woody Grant: a lost and confused old man who believes he has won a million dollars. He starts the trek down to Nebraska from Montana on foot several times before he is brought home to a very disapproving Kate. Together they have two sons, one of which is an up and coming local News Anchor in Billings, Montana. The other, played by Will Forte, is named David Grant. He spends more time with his Dad and tries to help him and understand him, though it is frustrating at times.
/David takes a look at the “Million Dollar Award Certificate” and realizes it is just a fluke from a magazine company in Lincoln, Nebraska. Eventually, David takes Woody to Nebraska, where Woody grew up, and they meet family, friends, and an old love of Woody’s.
At times the movie could seem like it is moving slow, but it will quickly pick back up. The script is brilliant and my favorite part of the movie, besides Kate, is how REAL the movie is. Everything about the film is true human nature. This is not a Hollywood-scythed film. I think making it black and white actually makes it even more real because it strips out any other distraction and focuses on the characters and story line. I was very pleased with this film in almost every aspect including cinematography, screenplay, musical score (which I am listening to now), directing, and casting.
The bad: I think there should have been more Husker gear in the set design…I mean come on, Nebraska bleeds red (even black and white red would have been noticeable). Also, I would have liked to see more of the background story on Kate and Woody’s marriage…but then again I think it made a lot of sense why they left it how it was: it’s a gray area for me.
Overall, go see this movie! It is very well done and it is REAL. It is nice to see some real fiction on screen.