I’ve seen Alexander Payne’s Nebraska twice already (my review here). First in Cannes, and second during the London Film Festival a month ago. It’s a remarkably unpretentious gem of a film – a minimal, monochromatic portrait of human pathos and misanthropy set against the vast plains and dusty forgotten towns of midwestern America. It’s also a road movie, featuring Bruce Dern’s miserly curmudgeon in pursuit of his hot, if delusional, lottery winnings, accompanied by his tolerant son played by Will Forte. There’s also June Squibb’s hilarious and brazenly potty-mouthed mother, who should bag an award for Best Cussing, if there ever is one. So expect plenty of shenanigans galore. It’s Payne’s best work since Sideways, deftly balancing ribald humour and finely-tuned emotions, with something to say about family dynamics and small-town morass.
A new clip from the film emerges online, with Dern’s Woody encountering a local townsfolk who’s heard of his (hypothetical) bag of millions. Typical small town. One day, you walk along it as nobody, minding your own business, and every one ignores you. The day you win something, everybody sticks to you like elbow grease. It must be hard for Will Forte, sitting there, listening to all that hot air. I’m surprised he hasn’t punched himself long into this scene.
Anyway, Nebraska steers into UK cinemas on December 6th. Be sure to check it out.
And here’s the film’s official quad. Eraserhead-style, Lynch-esque yet still starkly effective.