Last weekend, my local $5 theater got the movies Nebraska and Her. My husband was away for the weekend, so I decided to catch the double feature (perfectly timed so I could see them back to back!), as these were 2 Best Picture Nominees I hadn't seen yet.
Personally, I was much more excited to Her than Nebraska. Nebraska looked pretty boring to me, and, even though I really enjoyed the Descendants, I wasn't too enthused. Her, on the other hand, is a movie that seems to have been appealing to people my age (And tumblr) so I was looking forward to seeing it very much! So I'll do rmy review for Nebraska here, and do a separate one for Her
Directed by Alexander Payne
Nominated for 6 Oscars, Including Best Picture
Woody Grant has won a million dollars! Or, at least that's what the flyer in the mail tells him. Woody, old, drunk, and a little forgetful, is determined to go leave his home in Billings, Montana and collect his winnings in Lincoln, Nebraska. At first, Woody sets out on foot, even though it's 850 miles and 2 States away. His wife, sons try to tell him he really hasn't won anything, and that it's just a scam to get you to buy magazine subscriptions. However, Woody is determined and won't hear a word against it. His son, David, decides to just take him to Nebraska himself, just to please him. Kate, Woody's wife isn't pleased but lets them go. When David and Woody get laid up in a small town in Nebraska where Kate and Woody grew up, they have a get together with family for a few days. Woody, still thinking he's won a million, lets the "secret" out. Woody becomes small-town famous, and David learns many things about his father he never knew.
I've already said that I thought Nebraska looked pretty boring. But I was definitely wrong! Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this movie! I guess it shouldn't be too much of a surprise as I really enjoyed The Descendants a few years ago. However, I never enjoy movies about old people and was surprised I enjoyed this so much.
Nebraska had really dry, deadpan humor, which I love. And I felt this movie really captured a real-life snapshot of being living in small Midwest towns. While Descendants and Nebraska are the only 2 Alexander Payne films I've seen, I feel he really is able to capture real life in ways other movies don't do as well. Especially so with Nebraska. Between Woody saying he'd buy a new truck and an air compressor with his winnings, to just how average looking the cast was (in a good, realistic way!). While the film was kind of random, I liked it because real life isn't like the movies, and this really seemed to capture the randomness of life and getting old.
The acting was pretty great here. Bruce Dern was fantastic as Woody. He was constantly out of it, off in his own world until someone calls his name. He's a little naive, but he has Kate to make up for that. June Squibb was really hilarious as Kate. Crass and loud-talking, she was such a fun character and really had me in stitches a lot of the time. While I really didn't like the movie Amour because it was about old people dying, this movie was more about funny old people. And I have discovered old people being funny is like, extra funny.
As well, Will Forte did a fine job as David. He was the rock, the sane mind, and was always there for his dad, even when it seemed ridiculous.
Highlight scenes of the film include David and Woody looking for Woody's teeth by the railroad tracks, and David first fools his father when, upon finding his teeth, tells his father they aren't his. When his father gets told it's a joke, Woody plays the same one back, convincing David they're not his. As well, the scene where David and his brother go to steal the air compressor from Ed Pegram, with Woody and Kate in the backseat. I won't spoil it, but it was a really funny scene. Also, David's cousins teasing him that it took him 2 days to drive the 750 miles was too good.
Overall, this was a really good film, and I really enjoyed it. Should it win Best Picture? No, not at all, but I really did enjoy it. And it's movies like this that I'm glad are nominated because I would've definitely missed out on it if it hadn't been!