David Grant (Will Forte) learns that his ailing dad (Bruce Dern), whom he’s never had a great relationship with, is trying to get to Lincoln, Nebraska where he believes one million dollars is waiting for him; reluctantly, David agrees to take him there. Director Alexander Payne’s first movie where he was not directly involved in the script is an exceptionally well cast story about aging and our battle-weary relationships with family. Tender, funny and true; likely to affect audiences very differently, depending on your own situation in life. Dern and June Squibb are simply perfect. The raw black-and-white cinematography captures Nebraska in a natural but not too flattering light.
2013-U.S. 115 min. B/W. Widescreen. Produced by Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa. Directed by Alexander Payne. Screenplay: Bob Nelson. Cinematography: Phedon Papamichael. Music: Mark Orton. Cast: Bruce Dern (Woody Grant), Will Forte (David Grant), June Squibb (Kate Grant), Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach, Mary Louise Wilson.
Trivia: Bryan Cranston and Matthew Modine were allegedly considered for the part of David; Gene Hackman and Robert Duvall as Woody.
Cannes: Best Actor (Dern).
Last word: “For this film, it took over a year of casting to find, for example, those retired farmers who play some of Bruce Dern’s character’s brothers and their wives. And it was a long process of putting out casting notices on, for example, rural radio after the farm report or in small-town newspapers. … For retired farmers, we weren’t so much expecting them to submit auditions, so we were targeting their kids — in their 40s, 50s, 60s — who might go over to their folks’ house on a Sunday and say, ‘Hey! Look at this, I read this. Come on, just for a hoot let me put you on my iPhone reading these lines of dialogue and let me email it into Omaha.'” (Payne, NPR)