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Happy Tenth Anniversary, “Nebraska!”

Nebraska is the 2013 film from Alexander Payne. It tells the story of Woody Grant (Dern), an aging alcoholic taking a trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son David (Forte) in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing Prize. On their road trip, the father and son make several stops; some planned and some unplanned. This film was nominated for the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. It grossed $27 million on a $13 million budget.

Nebraska is an understated, poetic masterpiece with surprising moments of profundity and bittersweet, deadpan humor. It focuses on the complicated bond between family members, especially the one between fathers and sons. It is a well-paced film filled with surprises and honest observations. It has a unique visual style, aided by gorgeous black-and-white cinematography. It is a movie about the joys and pains of aging, and the beauty that can be found in even the simplest moments. With this film, Alexander Payne proves himself to be a master of the road trip movie, having made other instant classics in that subgenre including Sideways[2004] and About Schmidt [2002].