Starring: Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Will Forte
Director: Alexander Payne
Running Time: 115 mins
Nebraska is an American film about an elderly, drunkard man, under the illusion that he’s won a million dollars, who travels with his estranged son on a road trip from his home in Montana to the place where he collects his prize, in Nebraska.
This film was not perhaps as good as it initially seemed. Although I was amazed by the brilliant cinematography and clever writing, I wasn’t really that impressed with the overall storyline, which often grew quite dull to watch.
That was definitely the main problem with this film. It was quite a nice touch to have such a simplistic plot at the beginning, because the film was relatively relaxing to watch, but after about 15 minutes, you’re left wanting a whole lot more from the story, as it doesn’t offer nearly enough to keep you engrossed for nearly two hours.
After the characters are set up, and the whole idea of the story, which barely changes throughout, you just get this relatively dull storyline of a road trip across the northern states of America, which is at times so repetitive that it really is difficult to keep a full interest.
However, there are some advantages of that story. The dullness, although largely annoying, was an intentional feature, showing the unbelievably dull and ordinary lifestyles that this family lives, and that black atmosphere does add a good level of comedy to the film.
Also, the road trip element of the story was occasionally some good fun. Despite being extremely slow and ordinary, the plot talks vaguely about committing to your goal, and fighting off the opposition, no matter how ludicrous your goal is, which is both entertaining and surprisingly inspiring too watch.
The one thing that was fantastic about this film was the cinematography. All filmed in black and white, this does capture quite well the seemingly dull and simplistic lifestyles of the film’s characters, as well as giving it an oddly serene touch that is definitely entertaining to watch.
Bruce Dern also made a fantastic performance as the senile, yet strangely loveable old man, giving you someone perfect to support throughout, while June Squibb also put a great showing in to portray the woman struggling to keep a hold on a family which seems to be going insane.
Overall, I’ll give this a 7.3, because although it was a well-written, well-acted and well-directed affair, it was just not consistently engaging enough to be properly good.