Alexander Payne directed Election, one of the best comedies of all time, as well as Sideways, About Schmidt, and The Descendants, not to mention producing the criminally underseen Cedar Rapids. He has a knack for small-town comedy with a dash of melancholy (melanchomedy?), and his latest, Nebraska, looks like a similar mix of pathos and chuckles. It stars this year’s Cannes Film Festival best actor Bruce Dern and Will Forte as a father and son trekking their way across the flatlands in search of a possibly mythical sweepstakes prize. Stacy Keach and Bob Odenkirk also star, along with the awesomely named “June Squibb.” And it’s shot entirely in black and white, to show that America’s Heartland is a bleak, grey hellhole where coloreds aren’t allowed.
Or because it looks artier, hell, I don’t know.
After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father (Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich, and wrangles his son (Will Forte) into taking a road trip to claim the fortune. Shot in black and white across four states, Nebraska tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America. In theaters November 15th.
I don’t know, it kind of seems like it’s about a guy who wants his wayward son to carry on. Shoulda called it Kansas.
[HD available at Apple]