Nebraska is a simple father-son road trip made watchable by great performances.
Bruce Dern gives is believable as the alcoholic unassuming senile old man but can still pull off a joke or two. Will Forte’s acting looks overly rehearsed at times but was capable enough to forge a dynamic with a much veteran actor. June Squibb plays that person who’s too amusing to hate because she speaks her mind with aplomb.
Woody Grant wants to go to Lincoln, Nebraska to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes prize. His son, David immediately sees that it’s a mail scam, but eventually drives him all the way.
Their road trip is set against the backdrop of small-town Midwestern landscapes that give it a melancholic texture. As the duo goes on their way, a minor mishap sends them off course to Grant’s hometown, and encounters familiar but embarrassing hicks that he’d rather leave behind. Old wounds and stories resurface.
There isn’t much to the film other than that. But it can be argued that simple movies like this aren’t easy to pull off because they can easily be boring.
Nebraska is an amusing story about a man who has a defiant sense of self. In the end, even with all his stubborn foolishness and past douchebaggery, he still cares as a father. The cast holds it all together and in this case, it’s all you need.
Nebraska features a biting sense of humor and amusing performances to make its simplistic father-son road trip worthwhile.