Sept. 25, 2016
Home / Articles / Cinema / Yay /  My Father's House
Nabraska

My Father's House

‘Nebraska’ rewards the patient

December 10, 2013, 12:00 am
Nebraska follows what has become a template for director Alexander Payne: Take a character—in this case, Woody (Bruce Dern)—make him unlikable, and set him on a path to redemption.

There are variations. In Election, no one is redeemed. In Sideways, the characters never become likable.

Woody never becomes likable, either. But when surrounded by his wife (June Squibb, who’s wonderful) and brothers, he looks like one of the least fucked up, no matter how out of it he may be.

See, Woody has this idea that he’s won $1 million, and he’s going to walk to Nebraska to collect it. His son, David (Will Forte), trying to humor the old man while letting him down easily, offers to give him a ride. Woody and David stop at Woody’s hometown. Eventually word gets out that Woody is a millionaire, and the vultures start circling.

There’s nothing really surprising or outrageous in Bob Nelson’s screenplay (my pick for the year’s best original script), but the direction, performances and words on the page combine to make Nebraska one of the best films of the year. Dern is excellent. So is Forte, showing a knack for subtlety he never used on “Saturday Night Live.”

Stay with Nebraska. The first half-hour is rough going, but it rewards the patient.

 

NEBRASKA
Directed by Alexander Payne
With Bruce Dern, Will Forte and Stacy Keach
UA DeVargas 6
R
115 min.

 

comments powered by Disqus
 

Morning Word: Death Penalty Reinstatement Would Cost State Millions

Morning Word At the same time New Mexico lawmakers are trying to shore up the state’s budget, the New Mexico Public Defender's Office is questioning the costs associated with reinstating the death penalty.  ... More

Sept. 22, 2016 by Peter St. Cyr

Newsletters

* indicates required
Choose your newsletter(s):
August 31, 2016 by Julie Ann Grimm  
September 7, 2016 by Elizabeth Miller  
August 31, 2016 by Elizabeth Miller  
September 14, 2016 by Steven Hsieh  

@SFReporter on Instagram

 

 
Close
Close
Close