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Bettie's Box Office:Nebraska Movie Review
Updated: Wednesday, November 27 2013, 06:07 PM CST
Where do you go when your life's going nowhere? How about Lincoln, Nebraska? A bitter, senile alcoholic (Bruce Dern) and his long-suffering son (Will Forte) hit the road in Nebraska, an indie art house film in theaters now.
Woody Grant (Dern) is convinced that he's won a magazine publisher's sweepstakes and nothing I mean nothing is going to stop him from claiming it in person. His estranged son, Dave, (Forte) reluctantly decides to drive him if, for no other reason, than to temporarily escape his own depressing existence. Don't let the casting fool you; this is not a raucous, funny road-trip movie. It's a bleak film about bleak people with bleak lives. It's even shot in black-and-white, just to add one more layer of bleak.
When the pair stops in Woody's home town and the locals also believe he may be rich, they end up showing their true colors. There are a few chuckles and light moments here and there, but for the most part, the movie is about regret: regret about what happened in life and regret about what could have happened. The messages I took away were that we all need some reason any reason to keep on living, and lives that are seemingly worthless still have some dimension.
If you enjoy movies because of the craftsmanship, then you'll appreciate how Dern is still able to completely disappear into a character and you'll be surprised that Forte can effectively pull off a non-comedic role. June Squibb also steals some scenes as Dave's resentful mother.
Art house film fans should put this on their matinee list to see Phedon Papamichael's monochromatic cinematography on a big screen. Nebraska is rated R for some language.
To watch a trailer for the movie, go to http://youtu.be/ZuIBvmxIN4w.