Sunday, 7 May 2017

''Nebraska'' (2013 film)- Review

Directed by: Alexander Payne
Released: 2013
Country: United States

Genre: Comedy-drama

Rating: 5 out of 5


I have watched Alexander Payne's ''The Descendants'' several times. I love it so very much. I love the character development, the humor and the moments which are emotionally overwhelming.

The difference between ''The Descendants'' and ''Nebraska'' is in the types of family the two films deal with. The family we saw in ''The Descendants'' was a dysfunctional one, while the family in ''Nebraska''- the Grant family- is a loving one. The Grant family consists of Woody Grant (played by Bruce Dern) and his wife Kate (played by June Squibb) and their grown-up sons, David (played by Will Forte) and Ross (played by Bob Odenkirk). Woody and Kate are in their seventies. Age has caught up with Woody. He has always been simple and kind, helping others and believing everything that people told him. They live in Montana. When Woody gets a letter stating  he should travel to Nebraska to collect a million dollars that he has won, he wants to go to Nebraska by any means possible. Kate, David and Ross know that it is just a scam, but Woody is adamant and wants to collect the money, even wanting to walk to Nebraska to collect the prize money. David decides to drive his father to Nebraska. He knows that it is just a scam, but he wants his father to be happy and he knows that driving to Nebraska might make him happy even though it does turn out to be scam. As they start their drive to Nebraska- they are soon joined, on their way, by Kate and Ross- they have a good time together, sharing little adventures. David also comes to know little things about his father that he had never known before.

It's impossible not to admire these lovely characters. David is amazing. He knows that his father has won no such thing, that it is just a scam. He knows that his father has a lonely, uneventful life in Montana and that is why he drives his father to Nebraska to make him happy. Over the course of the film we get to spend a lot of time with David and it just makes his character more lovable.

Woody and Kate are really cute too. Bruce Dern and June Squibb are excellent in their roles. I admired Kate as much as I admired David. For her, the wellbeing of her family is the top priority. There is a scene in which she confronts some extended family members when they start claiming that Woody owes them money and that he should pay them back once he receives his prize money. Such a strong performance she delivered throughout the film and particularly in that scene.

Another thing that really touched me is the way the four members of the family have retained strong bonds. David and Ross might have lives of their own, but in a situation like this- driving to a different state together- they become childlike once again and their mother is once again the formidable yet sweet matriarch. No matter where our life takes us our bond with our family members always remain strong.

''Nebraska'' is lovely and gentle, sweet and beautiful, deeply moving and often funny. It is a very character-driven film and Woody, Kate and David are three lovely characters.  


  1. Films about old people are rare and this one is one of the best. Both the performances and its humor are so good and the film is one of the best from its year.

  2. Your last paragraph sums it up nicely. This is such a wonderful little film. Dern and Squibb are beyond good. Glad you like this one.