Nebraska (2013)

Woody, an old and ailing man (Bruce Dern) believes he has won a million dollars after receiving a scam letter, and is determined to get to Lincoln to collect it, no matter what it takes. His son (Will Forte) humours him and agrees to drive him there, stopping off at Woody’s home town on the way, where they find something worth much more than a million dollars.

Bruce Dern and June Squibb (who plays his amazing unapologetic and shouty wife Kate) give incredible performances in this sweet and dry humoured film, which refuses to be what you expect. Shot in black and white and interspersed with shots of the vast wild landscape, you might assume the film would be bleak. Yet, in reality it is hopeful, with quick wit and dark humour. It slowly and sweetly reveals the story, not of a man becoming a millionaire, or even of a man falling for a scam, but of a man’s past as seen through the eyes of his stagnating son, at a point when all hope in his fathers redemption is lost. It touches on being old, being a parent, being the child of someone you perhaps don’t understand and being part of a community. It is rather lovely, truth be told.

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