A film by Alexander Payne
2013 / USA / 115 min
5.45pm; 5th Oct 2014 ; Perks Mini Theater
Filmmaker Alexander Payne is quite gifted at capturing speech in transit, the way conversation is contoured by the rhythms of the road. On the face of it, Nebraska is no exception – it’s about the relationship between a father and son, Woody Grant and Dave Grant, played by Bruce Dern and Will Forte, who take a road trip from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska, to collect a million dollars that Woody thinks he’s won on a lottery sweepstakes.
The movie focuses on the quixotic quest of a senile and alcohol-addled Korean War veteran Woody Grant. Nebraska is one of the few films you'll ever see about the commandment to honor your father and mother. David is a big-hearted son who has empathy for his father.
“Nebraska” taps into a lot of universal truths while telling a story about the kind of ordinary people not often showcased in movies. Shot in beautiful tones of black and white (and silver and gray), “Nebraska” is steeped in nostalgia, regret and bittersweet moments. Yet it’s also a pitch-perfect cinematic poem about the times we live in.
In many ways, “Nebraska” hews to the classic buddy road-picture, with the mismatched Woody and Dave setting forth on a journey of mishaps, chance encounters, hilarious high jinks and — of course — filial bonding.
Born on February 10, 1961, in Omaha, Nebraska, filmmaker Alexander Payne is known for such critically acclaimed film as Sideways (2004), The Descendants (2011) and Nebraska (2013). His mother was a college professor and his father ran a restaurant. While his parents hoped he would join a respected field, such as law or medicine, Payne graduated from Stanford University with degrees in history and Spanish literature.
After university, Payne attended the University of California, Los Angeles' prestigious film school. From the very beginning, he aspired to become a director. Starting with His 60-minute thesis film, The Passion of Martin (1989) he continued to make remarkable films. Staying true to his beliefs, he directed and co-wrote About Schmidt (2002) with Jack Nicholson in the title role as a retired widower searching for meaning in his life which won prizes and accolades. In 2012 he received three more Academy Award nominations, this time for his film The Descendants (2011)—Best Director, Best Screenplay based on other material and Best Motion Picture. In 2014, Alexander received another Academy Award nomination for Best Directing for his film Nebraska (2013).