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78 Reviews
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful and desolate
Black and white cinematography seems just right for the high flatlands of the Dakotas, Montana, and Nebraska, and I think that what I'll remember most clearly about this movie are the spare images of the land, which Alexander Payne makes sure we see in a variety of lights and times of day. The sense of impermanence in the small towns that are passed through, and in the...
Published 6 months ago by Stanley Crowe

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dreadfully Slow, but Worth Seeing
This film has a great, very simple, story. It is beautifully written and acted. However, it has one major flaw: it is dreadfully slow! I actually ended up watching it at double speed (my player still plays the sound at that speed) and it was still slow moving! However, despite this slow pace, the story about a father with dementia and a son who goes out of his way to meet...
Published 6 months ago by Chris Jackets


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3.0 out of 5 stars Great reviews, but hasn't struck me as being worth it., 19 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Nebraska [DVD] (DVD)
Watched this after reading rave reviews. Not sure what all the fuss was about. Most of the fabulous shots are just background scenes of mountain ranges. I'll watch it again to see if I can get more from it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars About Woody and his descendants, 22 May 2014
This review is from: Nebraska [DVD] (DVD)
In About Schmidt, writer-director Alexander Payne cast an ageing actor against type and drew from him his best work since the 1970s. That actor was Jack Nicholson, and the trick is repeated here with Bruce Dern. He plays Woody, a retired mechanic in the twilight of his existence, who receives a letter informing him he's won a million dollars. After a few false starts, his son, David (Will Forte), agrees to take him to Nebraska - to Lincoln, the town of his upbringing - to claim the prize and possibly reclaim his past.

This is a character-driven road movie, full of the driest humour imaginable, shot in crisp monochrome. The open plains of the Midwest, potted like a graveyard with the dead monuments of industry, provide an ideal backdrop to Woody's haunted mind.

Woody's return to Lincoln, and his ensuing minor celebrity, awakens the ghosts of his past, and the rivalries of youth play out in old age. At this point, Stacy Keach puts in a great supporting role as the bully Ed Pegram. June Squibb is on wickedly unfiltered form as Woody's perennially suffering wife. But the movie belongs to father and son. Dern and Forte are believable and moving in these roles, flitting between driver and passenger in a co-constructed coming of (old) age fable.

After the disappointingly gooey The Descendants, it's a pleasure to see Payne's on harder, more acerbic form; although the fact that he is directing a third-party script (from Bob Nelson, Oscar-nominated on his screenwriting debut) means that the film lacks some of the sharp wit and absurdity of his best work (Election, About Schmidt, and Sideways). It also means Payne's detached style sometimes comes across less like ironic observation and more like indifference.

It may be deliberate that we never really get to the bottom of any of the characters, least of all Woody; we can only fill in the gaps between his experience in Korea and his eccentric behaviour in the present. Mirroring Woody's personal journey, the narrative is like an unfolding mystery, growing in intricacy and intimacy as it goes, toward unclear resolution. We end up sharing Woody's sense of regret and disillusionment, and also his frustration. Character traits are found in glances or glares or silences, and in the end any restoration is slight.

The million dollars is a powerful MacGuffin: fairy dust symbolising the hopes Woody once had. This is a film about nostalgia - not about visiting the past, but rather returning to it in the vain hope of being given another go. For a man consciously fading, Nebraska, and the treasure that waits there, represents a final chance of finishing business that began when there was more life left than had yet been lived. Clearly, these themes aren't the recipe for madcap japes. But if you're in the mood for contemplative comedy, satirising the empty promises of the American Dream, look no further.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 11 Oct 2014
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N. Kilbey "losalamos" (Wantage, Oxon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Nebraska [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
A triumph for Bruce Dern, a simple tale but beautifully told.
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4.0 out of 5 stars terrific acting., 25 July 2014
This review is from: Nebraska (DVD)
Very strong movie, terrific acting.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful except for the B&W, 29 May 2014
This review is from: Nebraska [DVD] (DVD)
This would have been such an amazing film were it in vibrant colour. I think the black and white idea is a mistake. The pictures are weird in such high definition black and white and the lighting is so difficult that some shots just don't work well as moving pictures. I imagine if something like the best of the Coen Brothers cinematography had been applied here we would have had a masterpiece of the American cinema (maybe the black and white in Woody Allen's films in the 80s worked because they had been shot on film and lit the traditional way). This film has a tight, realistic and unpredictable script full of well made observations, with amazing empathy and humour and it has excellent casting including a very good performance from veteran 'baddie' Stacy Keach.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Artistic !!, 27 April 2014
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This review is from: Nebraska [DVD] (DVD)
Only fell asleep once during this one , sometimes these films can be a bit too artistic , I don't find Industrial landscape that exciting , but maybe I'm wrong .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Oct 2014
This review is from: Nebraska [DVD] (DVD)
Great item
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars can't review, 25 April 2014
This review is from: Nebraska (DVD)
Don't even get the option to write a review for the Heath Ledger film 'Two Hands'.

Anyone else having problems getting high or normal priority DVD rental's to get picked since the amazon switch?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tiresome, 26 July 2014
This review is from: Nebraska (DVD)
A rather tiresome father/son road movie. The characters are more irritating than engaging and although there are a few touching scenes they aren't enough to make this a must see film.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars fun film, 1 July 2014
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This review is from: Nebraska [DVD] (DVD)
A fun little film, which raised a few chuckles. Not sure that i should have paid so much though.
Worth watching.
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Nebraska [DVD]
Nebraska [DVD] by Bruce Dern (DVD - 2014)
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