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Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 6.51.08 PMHad a weekend movie binge of “Nebraska,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Saving Mr. Banks.” Of the three, the one that sticks is “Nebraska.” It’s a brilliant film, and much wittier than I had expected. Bruce Dern and June Squibb do a great job of making you forget its a film. Most of the readers of this are age appropriate for such a film, and not even bothered by its being in black and white. I found myself thinking there but for the grace of God go I, but realized that New York City is neither Billings Montana nor Nebraska. The only false note was their verbal desecration of one of my favorite travel memories — Mt. Rushmore, but it was done with such clever wit that I can’t hold it against them. This is a must-see for anyone over 50 — and let’s hope we have children who can be as accommodating as the son, wonderfully played by Will Forte.

Howard Morgan

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Posted: 12/05/13 by Jack Viertel

We have yet to see an Alexander Payne movie we didn’t like, but “Nebraska” held a special place for us, since we were married in Omaha. As it turns out, relatively little of this beautifully austere black-and-white movie actually takes place in the state, but it nonetheless conveys the strange, empty beauty and ugliness of certain parts of fly-over America, where community seems to have died off after many years of health and prosperity. The towns have dwindled with the employment numbers, and what’s left is the land, a few rusty main streets, a few saloons and grocery stores. Bruce Dern gives an extraordinary performance as an irascible old guy who thinks he’s won a million dollars and Will Forte is winning as his befuddled but ultimately loving son. The movie is funny, sad, uniquely American and memorable. And it simply doesn’t feel like a Hollywood product in any way. At it’s conclusion Linda turned to me and said, “Who the hell let him make this movie?!” It’s that good.

2 Responses to “Nebraska”

  1. I couldn’t agree with Howard and Jack more. We saw this quiet, thoughtful movie today and we left the theater grateful for the amount of open space Payne gave us – the laconic dialogue, the uncluttered landscape, the pacing – and for the privacy he allowed his characters. Bruce Dern walking down the side of the road is an image I won’t soon forget.

  2. Curiously we did the same movie binge as Howard, and could not agree more. This is a fine movie with wonderful performances. I laughed and laughed. By far the best of the weekend.

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