Dysfunctional characters in flawed relationships on a journey of self discovery is a staple of writer/director Alexander Payne’s work. We’ve seen these stories in his recent works such as “The Descendants” and “Sideways”. So the troubled life of an elder Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) who is intent on travelling to Nebraska to claim a million dollars in sweepstakes money seems like familiar territory. Although, in this case, Payne only served as director on the film.
There is a gritty realism displayed in the trailer that’s hard to ignore. If Payne wanted to get your attention with this stylized piece he has certainly made the effort to do so. The bleak, cold looking landscape, accentuated by the black and white cinematography, is the center piece of this character driven film.
The dramedy is a star vehicle for actor Dern who is garnering attention as a possible Oscar nominee. The film premiered at Cannes this past spring where he won best actor. Will Forte plays his unwilling son David who must go along to entertain his old man’s delusional leanings. Also starring are Stacey Keach, June Squibb and Bob Odenkirk.
According to IMDB, the story is about a father and son who embark on a road trip, from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska that gets waylaid at a small town in central Nebraska, where the father grew up and has scores to settle. Told with deadpan humor and a unique visual style, it's ultimately the story of a son trying to penetrate his impenetrable father.
The script was written by first-timer Bob Nelson. It is being produced by Ron Yerxa and Albert Berger of Bona Fide Productions. Paramount Pictures is distributing the film theatrically.
“Nebraska” will open in theaters on November 15th.