Every once in a while a studio capitalizes on parallels between one of its awards hopefuls and a classic of the medium that also did pretty well on the circuit by booking a double bill. Fox Searchlight did it with “The Wrestler” and “On the Waterfront,” for instance. This year, Paramount is going that route with Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska” and Peter Bogdanovich’s “Paper Moon.”
The screening will happen on Sunday, Nov. 10 at the New Beverly Theater in Los Angeles. Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk will be on hand for a Q&A after the screenings, to be moderated by actor Martin Starr. The event happens right in the middle of AFI Fest, where “Nebraska” will screen as part of the program and Bruce Dern will be the beneficiary of a career tribute.
Advance tickets for the double bill went on sale at noon today.
The two films share some tenuous thematic residue. Each is centered on a road trip with a surly father (well, Ryan O’Neil was more ne’er do well than surly, but you get it). Will Forte is Tatum O’Neal to Bruce Dern’s O’Neil, that kind of thing. “Paper Moon” is also a (black and white) Paramount film, so it’s a bit of a fun no brainer to book them together.
Bogdanovich’s 1973 comedy was nominated for four Oscars. It didn’t make the Best Picture mix, but it likely would have in the current paradigm. And Tatum O’Neal, of course, walked away with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. She still holds the record for the youngest person to win an Academy Award. The film was also nominated for the Best Picture Musical or Comedy Golden Globe.
This is a trajectory similar to what Paramount would like to travel with “Nebraska.” Of course, they have “The Wolf of Wall Street” coming up, which will take a lot of scrounging to set up on the circuit as it was only recently “officially” slated for a Christmas release. Payne’s film, however, has had the benefit of nurturing throughout the year ever since a world premiere at Cannes. And love has taken hold throughout the Academy. This little program will just be a reminder of its old-fashioned charms.
“Nebraska” opens in limited release on Nov. 15.