9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Two movies in one, a movie about small-town life,
This review is from: Nebraska [DVD]  (DVD)
We wandered into this movie because we couldn't find anywhere to park for the other movie we wanted to see. All in all I'd say we chose wisely.
What you get out of this will depend at least in part on with whom you watch it. In our case, the audience was filled with cackling older people who guffawed violently every time the main characters said something obnoxious or abusive to each other. While I see the potential for humor here I was more saddened by the abuse than amused by it. Your results will vary wildly.
From a plot perspective this is a fairly standard offering. The patriarch is a lost and lonely old man who has spent his life being abused by his wife and taken advantage of by his friends. His wife is a acidic old crone who has very little nice to say about anyone, most so when it comes to her family. The kids are detached and don't really understand what's going on and are themselves constantly the target of their mother's abuse.
Most poignantly the movie is about small towns and the people in them. Scenes depicting family get-togethers in which everyone sat on the couch and watched TV in silence were completely true because that was exactly what my family did growing up. In this environment conversations between people getting together after years apart commonly consistent of:
Person 1: What'r you up to?
Person 2: Nothin' much.
Person 1: Still workin'?
Person 2: Yup.
And so ends an entire evening of conversation. This is brilliantly and accurately rendered in the movie. Greed, jealousy, pettiness and gossip also play key roles in this film just as they do in the small towns on which the movie is based.
In summary, this movie can be funny but it can also be a vast social lesson on what it means to live a life confined to a narrow and repetitious rut and what hope can do to the people in that situation. So choose the movie you want and you'll find it.