The black and white road movie might be worth an outside bet, you know.
As Nebraska finishes up its festival run – the last is today in Slovenia at the Ljubljana International Film Festival – and the dust settles on the last few reviews to be filed, we get a pretty good idea of the overall critical reception. And Nebraska’s is good.
Bruce Dern and Wil Forte in Nebraska
The story sees cranky old geezer Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) get found walking to Nebraska by his son (Will Forte). He’s taking the mammoth trek in search of the $1m promised to him by a sweepstakes-marketing prize.
Displayed entirely – as far as we can see from the trailer – in black and white, and directed by Oscar-winning Alexander Payne (for Sideways), the film has enjoyed a wide range of praise from various critics, culminating in an impressive 88% rating on review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes.
“The movie is a triumph of an especially satisfying kind. It arrives at a kind of gnarled grace that's true to this sorry old man and the family he let down in so many ways,” said New York Magazine’s David Edelstein.
“Mr. Nelson's observant, detailed script flawlessly captures the mood of what American ennui has done to both old and young men on their way to becoming losers, lending a look and feel that seems like the Great Depression,” said Rex Reed of The New York Observer.
With the Oscars race shaping up nicely – a few films have flopped (Ahem, The Counselor) and a few films have dropped out (How could you, Clooney) it looks as though Nebraska rightly takes its position on the track.
Polling behind Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave – one of the favorites on most fronts – an Academy award in any category for Payne’s movie would be a surprise, but don’t rule it out of the screenplay category at least…
The Nebraska poster