NEBRASKA is colorful in black and white


Those of you who’ve seen the comedy/drama film Nebraska are probably wondering like I am how Bruce Dern missed Best Actor Oscar.  (Okay, well maybe the Academy could have had two this year.)  You are going to see him the next time you enter a pub and, if not, think of him every time you see a Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes ad.

Dern’s role as the alcoholic father was played to perfection—I know because I was reminded of my own father, also a veteran, and a man trying to get along as he aged.  For me June Squibb as Dern’s wife, however, did not deliver her lines, well written as they were, with believability.  Her role was disconcerting in an otherwise great film deserving of the six academy award nominations.

The story takes its lead characters on a road trip that includes visits with other family and friends, reminiscent of the 1999 film The Straight Story starring Richard Farnsworth as Alvin Straight.  (Based on a true story, Straight mounts a riding lawnmower and sets out on a road trip to see his brother—well worth the watch.)

What? No color?  A color version of Nebraska was created to to satisfy concerns of distributor Paramount Vantage; however, director Alexander Payne “hopes no one ever sees it.”  Nebraska may be dismissed by those partial to color; but, this black and white film has the directing, screenplay, cinematography and yes, Dern, to deliver a darn good movie.