I’m not the biggest Alexander Payne fanboy, so I wasn’t crazy about Nebraska. Still though, maybe it’s because I’m in the generation of the main character (Will Forte), that I appreciated this story more than I thought I would. The plot revolves around a son who drives his stubborn father from Montana to Nebraska to collect a ‘sweepstakes prize’ he won in the mail. The son of course, immediately recognizes the hustle of it (does Publishers Clearing House still exist?), but the father may (or may not) think he’s really won a million dollars.
The actual story in this mini road trip movie is of an adult son who wants to spend quality time with his father, who legitimately seems to be losing his mind. Bruce Dern is the catalyst who drives the film as the father who drives his family (and old friends they meet along the way) nuts with his absent mind. He’s nominated for Best Actor for his performance. Not to take away from any of the actors, but my feeling is that a lot of the humor of this story was on the page (where it’s nominated for Best Original Screenplay). If you’re into Alexander Payne, this one is right up your alley.