Movie review, Nebraska directed by Alexander Payne

By MILT GROSS | Mar 16, 2014

Nebraska seemed to be a negative, downbeat tragedy, but it was realistic. The ending to me seemed sad, but it really showed a son’s love for his elderly father.

The father, played by Bruce Dern, receives in the mail a document that to his mind states he has won a million dollars. All he has to do is claim it.

So starts the movie with the son, played by Will Forte, driving his father to Nebraska from their home in Montana, so the father can claim his winnings. The son never believed there were any winnings, but after many on-the-road adventures that take place in taverns and other localities, they arrive in Nebraska.

The father’s wife is a negative, critical old bitty, who keeps telling the father there are no winnings. She tells him other things too to make his life with her miserable. Near the end of the strange tale, we learn that they actually do love one another.

At the headquarters of the company, which had sent the notice to the father, father and son learn from a secretary that the father would win only if he had the winning number.

Oh.

After more adventure, the movie ends as son and father head back home. The father had been planning to buy a pickup truck with some of the winnings. The son buys one, trading their poor old junker for it, and lets the father drive through the town where so many have doubted his tale about winning a million dollars. He waves at the skeptics as he drives through the town.

At the very end, they ride off into the sunset -- no, not quite, the son drives the pickup with his father in the passenger seat back toward home.

And so ends a very quirky, black comedy, which is really a tragedy by definition because all ends on a negative tone.

Amazon.com rents it for $3.99 and sells two versions of Nebraska for $14.99 and $19.96 with one as high as $24.96.

We got our DVD from Netflix. It also comes in Blu-ray.

It’s worth renting. It’s a fascinating story, one that seems silly but one that grips you as you view it.

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at lesstraveledway@roadrunner.com.

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2014

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