Nebraska is an intentionally slow-moving but powerful essay on broken relationships and reconciliation. Excellent choices in filming — its in black and white — and location — rural Minnesota and Nebraska. Wide pans of monochromatic open field, big sky and innocuous farm accessories beg the viewer to direct their attention to the dialogue and progression of events. I liked these choices because they maximized the focus on the relationships rather than the superficial context in which they occur. It also reinforced Nebraska’s very solid theme of the path taken trumps the destination.
The story is of a father, an aging alcoholic obsessed with a futile idea and a son, who is trying to balance his perceived obligations as a son with the reality that his role has morphed to parent. Bruce Dern is outstanding as the lost-child father flailing in his attempts to achieve something meaningful in life, not realizing that in raising his son, he has already done so. June Squibb is equally brilliant as the cantankerous mother never satisfied with anything; the most humorous moments involve Squibb’s dead-pan delivery of caustic language followed by subtle displays of disgust.
I was surprised by the amount of humor. Its not often direct nor side-splitting, more along the dry, situational variety you found in the film Fargo.
Favourite line: “Please, remind me, what exactly are the statutes of limitations on bullshit?” I’m definitely using that as much as possible in 2014.
Nebraska is a great film and I suspect Dern and Squibb will be nominated for awards, but it does not dethrone 12 Years A Slave as my favourite 2013 movie.