Review: Nebraska


Nebraska is an American dramedy written by Bob Nelson and directed by Alexander Payne (also known for The Descendants). It Stars Bruce Dern, June Squibb, and Will Forte. It was released in the US November 15, 2013.

Nebraska tell the tale of Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) who is sent a pamphlet from an add and believes he has won 1 million dollars. To retrieve it, he has to go to Nebraska. He is repeatedly caught attempting to walk to Nebraska (much to the dismay of his wife and sons) and, eventually, his son (Will Forte) agrees to drive him to Nebraska. From there, the film chronicles a relationship between father and son.

This movie was slow. It was slow and nostalgic and lacked the big acting moments or spectacles prevalent in the front runners of this Oscar season. Despite this, it was nominated for six academy awards, including best picture. While i did not necessarily like Nebraska, while I would not have chosen it to be nominated, in retrospect, I really appreciate this movie and I really appreciate that it was nominated. It’s simple and, rather than showing us something big, it shows us something perfectly ordinary. We need movies like this.

There are parts that are outrageously funny (most of them belonging to the lovely June Squibb), but my favorite thing about this movie is the cinematography. Lead cinematographer Phedon Papamichael (also known for The Descendants and The Ides of March) puts something interesting into every scene. The camera angles and subtle moments, from the first to the final shot (which is my favorite shot), tell the story along with the words.

Overall, Nebraska was witty and perfectly subtle. The different elements came together quite nicely to tell a story, and they did a fabulous job.





  1. I thought this was a beautiful film which is very simple. I live the but where all the brothers are sitting together watching the TV. This is real life! I love the fact that’s it’s in black and white. Bruce Dern was brilliant as the father although in not sure it was Oscar worthy? I love films that relate to simple relationships because life isn’t all action. It is also so true of life as one gets older and the mind is not there that family members have to go along with it to keep them happy. I like the way you learn about Bruce Derns character, your first opinion being that he is a lousy drunken father, but you soon realise who he really is and what happened to him as you meet those from his past. I loved it!

    1. Haha indeed. I thought that Bruce Dern should have been nominated. His performance in that context was perfect. I would have been pissed if he won, but he definitely should have been nominated. I don’t know if I like the ‘simple’ films as much, but I do love honesty, and this one was very honest. I was glad this was nominated for writing – if you really focus on the words and the story arc, you’re really getting to know these people one step at a time. Again, I like the cinematography of Nebraska much better than that of Gravity. For me, the whole movie was basically made by the cinematography. The last show made me so, so happy.

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