Director Alexander Payne (The Descendants) is known for making dark comedies that delve into real issues in life. While successfully extracting laughs from his audience, he only utilizes humor that furthers his stories. The academy loves him, making Nebraska almost a surefire contender for best picture. It may even take home best comedy at the Golden Globes if they decide to pick an indie film over the hilarity of This is the End.
With a basic premise concerning a senile father who thinks he has won a million dollars and utilizing the extended family dynamic, Payne crafted a very quaint picture. Bruce Dern (Django Unchained) should easily receive a best actor nomination, already proving himself at Cannes. Bringing a small town atmosphere along with an exploration of an older generation to the forefront of the film, Payne allows Dern to shine.
Movies just aren’t made about old people and small towns. Payne likes discussing life and death in his movies, but unlike The Descendants, it is a very subtle theme. People tend to avoid addressing the older generation and prefer to see movies with the majority of characters being in their 20s and 30s. In addition, movies always tend to have abnormally good looking people in them. Nebraska’s best looking player is Will Forte (That’s My Boy).
Payne took a chance and made a very simple film. So pick up a beer and “Be someone” and make it count.
By: Jonny Havey | Editor-in-Chief