Action / Adventure / Comedy / Drama

Plot summary

Uploaded by: OTTO

Top cast

Bob Odenkirk Photo
Bob Odenkirk as Ross Grant
Will Forte Photo
Will Forte as David Grant
Bruce Dern Photo
Bruce Dern as Woody Grant
Stacy Keach Photo
Stacy Keach as Ed Pegram
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
865.48 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 55 min
P/S 1 / 6
1.85 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 55 min
P/S 3 / 17

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by StevePulaski10 / 10

Keep on the sunny side of the desolate landscape

Director Alexander Payne is currently one of the best dramatists in cinema right now simply because he makes films about realistic people in realistic situations. Payne seems to see no value in fantasy elements, far-fetched circumstances, or overly-comedic nonsense. His accomplished filmography includes the uproariously funny and poignant Sideways, The Descendants, which I went on to name my favorite film of 2012, the bold satire Election, the humble and depressing About Schmidt, and the daring abortion comedy-drama Citizen Ruth.

Now with Nebraska he adds another incredible film to his filmography. Heavy on the drama, smart with its character depictions, but never schmaltzy nor self-satisfying, Nebraska paints a bleak and depressing portrait of Midwestern life centering on a broken family with little to live for. One day, however, Woody Grant (Bruce Dern in a career-making performance) finds something to live for. Senile, an alcoholic in denial, and not one for long conversations, Woody receives a letter in the mail telling him he won a $1,000,000 prize and should come to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect it. His son, the quietly-sad David (Will Forte),informs him that the letter is a shameless piece of scam mail that requires the subscription to multiple magazines to even qualify for a raffle to potentially win the jackpot.

Woody doesn't care. He believes that people or an organization wouldn't say something that wasn't one-hundred percent true. Residing in Billings, Montana, Woody abandons his long-suffering, brutally honest wife (June Squibb) numerous times by aimlessly walking (sometimes trudging) down interstate highways and side-streets to venture out to Lincoln to collect his supposed earnings. At first, David can't fathom his father's logic. He has informed him several times this is a hopeless scam, that he is in no condition to travel long distances (he can't drive),and he doesn't even need $1 million to begin with. Woody, stubborn as a mule (or is he?),offers very little reasoning for his actions. He simply does what he wants. But when people in Woody's hometown get wind of this, along with distant family members that maybe should've remained distant, Woody now owes everyone money and a favor.

Director Alexander Payne and writer Bob Nelson work wonderfully with Nebraska, especially Nelson, who is sure to paint the characters as realistic as they are relatable to the audiences. Consider Woody's rather large family, made up of codgers who speak in disjointed sentences and delightfully funny souls who like to complain every chance they get. One of these people in particular is Woody's wife Kate, portrayed by a fearless June Squibb where almost everything she says is a laugh riot. A key scene comes when Woody, Kate, and David are visiting the gravesites of Woody's family members and for every person buried six feet under, Kate has a smarmy remark for them.

It's all the more surprising to note that Will Forte, usually known for playing characters in goofball comedies, does tremendous work in a serious, darkly funny, but also depressing drama film. Forte embodies an everyman quality that will make him familiar to some, and the way he tries to live in the boundaries of reality while giving his father something to live for is easily relatable to someone who wants the best for their own parents. However, the performance of the two hours is easily given by Bruce Dern, who has the rare ability to play detached and clueless with a true sense of believability. I can only think of Paul Dano's requirements for his character in Prisoners, released about two months back, where Dano had to always bear a facial expression that rendered him dazed and almost entirely out of touch with reality. Dern uses the effect to true emotional heights in Nebraska, with the uncanny ability to sit with a blank stare on his face and look as if he's about to burst into tears.

That precise quality of Nebraska is why I was so drawn in (along with the excellent black and white photography); its lack of milking its story for emotions. It has the very ingredients to make a person cry from the senile father who never really was one to his children, the broken family, and the unremarkable rural life that seemingly offers no hope outside of a desolate landscape. However, just like Woody, the film looks on the brighter side of life, optimistic about the peculiar instances and finding solace in a practical adventure. It doesn't have time to waste on sappy musical cues and actors phoning in emotion; it's much too concerned for articulating the characters and the adventure at hand.

It's also wonderful to see Will Forte in a pleasantly different role, alongside his frequent collaborator and friend Bob Odenkirk as siblings in Nebraska. The last time Forte and Odenkirk teamed up, if I recall correctly, The Brothers Solomon happened and such a film doesn't even deserve a mention in this review.

Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk, and Stacy Keach. Directed by: Alexander Payne.

Reviewed by MartinHafer9 / 10

Very slow, very dry yet very rewarding.

"Nebraska" was nominated for a ton of Oscars, though it received none. This isn't surprising, since the film is exceptionally well made but is also NOT the sort of film the average viewer would enjoy or even pick in the first place. As for me and my lovely wife, we both had a very nice time watching this strange slice of life film.

Bruce Dern plays Woody Grant--a somewhat confused old man who insists he's won a million dollars from a Publisher's Clearinghouse type of giveaway. However, he's just received a form letter and fake certificate. No matter how much his wife and sons tell him, Woody insists he's going to Lincoln, Nebraska to collect HIS money--even though it's at least a 12 1/2 drive to the town from Billings, Montana. So, again and again, Woody sneaks off--and tries walking to Lincoln! Eventually, in desperation, his son David (Will Forte) agrees to take him. However, along the way they make a fateful decision to stop by a town where Woody and the family lived a long, long time ago. What's going to happen there? See the film--I really don't want to spoil the surprise.

The film is a slow, gentle affair. The music is appropriate and the acting always seems very natural. However, it did seem a bit strange that Dern was nominated for Best Actor, as Will Forte really was more the star of the movie. I guess we can chalk it up to aging actors and the Oscars syndrome. In other words, the AMPAS folks who pick the awards, LOVE nominating or awarding actors who have long paid their dues but who haven't gotten an Oscar--such as John Wayne for "True Grit" (not one of his best films) or Geraldine Page for "Trip to Bountiful". In fact, it's a film with no one dominant star--just lots and lots and lots of wonderful little performances.

If you don't mind your humor VERY dry and aren't looking for explosions, boobs or mega-stars, then I suggest you try "Nebraska"--it just came out on DVD and is also available through Netflix.

Reviewed by TheLittleSongbird10 / 10

Very much a winner and the complete opposite of a loser

For me, Alexander Payne is a very talented director and writer with a vast majority of his films being very good to outstanding (an exception being the ambitious but disappointing recent film of his 'Downsizing'),my personal favourite being 'Sideways'.

Expectations were high for 'Nebraska', not only were they met but they were also exceeded. It's as of now my second favourite Payne film after 'Sideways' and the closest of his films post-'Sideways' to capture that film's warmth, honesty, poignancy, insight and humour. 'Nebraska' touches on difficult themes and a very accessible and relatable subject matter, and explores them with sharp illuminating sight and depth (more so than 'The Descendants'). The comedy and drama are beautifully balanced and come over wonderfully individually.

'Nebraska' is visually the most interesting and unique of Payne's films. Shot in gorgeous monochrome black and white and with starkly startling imagery and beautiful scenery, it is also his most visually striking (and all his films are very well made visually). Nebraska has rarely looked this stunning on film.

It's beautifully and sympathetically scored too and Payne's direction has wit, warmth and adept attention to detail, visuals and balance of story elements as well as how he gets the best of his actors. The story is deliberate but gripping with how it handles its subject and interplay.

Payne's script contributes massively to why 'Nebraska' works so brilliantly. The humour is deadpan and dry but hilarious and warm, the drama is genuinely poignant and delicate and what is said about family life is so insightfully observed and dealt with with such sharpness and honesty. The characters may not be the most likeable but are compelling in their realism, very like their situations which are easy to relate to and don't rely on over-convenience.

Bruce Dern (in perhaps his best performance in years),Will Forte and June Squibb are especially superb in a cast that cannot be faulted.

Overall, cannot say anything wrong with this film. 10/10 Bethany Cox

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