Grant, Woody: The Movie, “Nebraska”

In the film Nebraska (2013), it is driven home to David Grant (Will Forte) that two people he is expected to love—and must love—have always had feet of clay:  his elderly parents.  No, Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) and his scrappy wife (June Squibb) are not like such nice elderly people in the film as Peg Bender and the Westendorfs.  David decides to spend time with Woody by taking a road trip with him which lacks an actual goal (the goal is imaginary; Woody thinks he has won a million dollars from an outfit in Lincoln, Nebraska).  What a confused old man anticipates will not be coming to pass, but it is a positive occurrence when David is charitable to his father by buying him a truck and permitting him to retain his dignity in the town where Woody grew up.

I found the movie, directed by Alexander Payne, technically impeccable.  There is nothing wrong with how it was shot, full of nifty medium shots and cutting, and this even includes the screen “wipes” for scene transitions.  Though photographed in monochrome, Nebraska sometimes has a Five Easy Pieces flavor, and a fairly well written screenplay by Bob Nelson.  Not the best from Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) but still a success.

 

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