My penultimate day in Cannes involved myself checking out Alexander Payne’s misanthropic road-trip comedy Nebraska, a stripped-down, back-to-basics affair for Payne, whom I happen to bump into briefly in the Croisette. Anybody familiar with Payne’s canon, which includes the terrific Citizen Ruth, the sublime Election (still remaining as his masterpiece), the hilarious Sideways and The Descendants, which was a little over-praised, would know that this man doesn’t belt out loud, grandstanding cinematic statements but rather offers microcosm of human misanthropy through the hybrid of drama and comedy.
And I’m happy to report that I truly enjoyed Nebraska. While it’s no masterwork, it’s vintage Payne, working that fabulously retro black-and-white cinematography and wryly capturing family dynamics and small-town morass with sharp, perceptive writing. It also features grumpy old people swearing, and I have a soft spot for grumpy old people swearing so it’s quite a treat to see this one.
Aside from Nebraska, I didn’t get to see anything else and retreated from the crowds of Cannes to go venture and discover the miniature delights of Mandelieu-la-Napoule. It has a château on a beach, so the scenery was just right to spend the entire afternoon with.