My notes on Nebraska:
1. Simple yet powerful, mundane yet life-affirming, dark yet funny, and gorgeously shot in black & white.
I really have a penchant for old people movies (see 2012’s Amour). I find the last years of someone’s life very fascinating. Does that make me weird and creepy?
2. Bruce Dern deserves an Oscar for his excellent work in this movie. Plus he’s the father of Laura Dern. Now I have lots of reasons to love him.
3. It would be hard to classify this film as an all-out comedy but I was laughing in almost every scene from start to end. Alexander Payne has mastered the art of dark humor (see also Election and About Schmidt).
4. I feel like I would get a verbal whipping if I don’t mention the wonderful work of June Squibb. She was a natural and possibly one of a few actresses who could call a dead woman a slut and still sound funny and honest.
5. Remember those misleading “You won a million pesos!” or “You won a brand new car!” complete with a key promos in those bulky Reader’s Digest envelopes? I fell for those as a kid. My mom did, too. She even subscribed for a year (of course she’ll reason out now that she wanted to read the articles). Marketing’s such a bitch.
(Originally published February 25, 2014.)