It’s was great to see Alexander Payne’s Nebraska yesterday on the big screen of the little Mattydale establishment known as The Hollywood Theater.  The film stars the incredible Bruce Dern as the epitome of what it means to be human, Woody Grant.  To support this actor, Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk take on the roles of his sons while June Squibb portrays Grant’s wife.  Stacy Keach cannot be forgotten as the antagonist oft he film, longtime frenemy, Ed.

As an Internet Movie Database (IMDB) addict, the trailer was seen a while ago, and it was interesting to see Dern listed.  He isn’t an actor of my generation, so it was reassuring to see the guy taking the reigns of this movie.  Director Alexander Payne easily caught my eye as I’m a fan of his movies:  SidewaysAbout Schmidt, and the interesting Election.  Payne also participates in a favorite collection of shorts that makes up Paris, je t’aime as a director of one of the segments and as an actor; he plays Oscar Wilde alongside (the lovely) Emily Mortimer and Rufus Sewell.  It’s ashamed to admit that I have yet to see Clooney’s effort in The Descendants, but that will come sooner than later.  Payne has honest characters in his films, and all these characters display quirks that are subtle at first before graduating to an powerful level.  We may not be the same people as his characters, but there is a significant understanding to who they are.

The characters are heartwarming despite their clearly discontent personalities.

The movie was seen with my parents and a couple of my mom’s cousins, who we see on a regular basis.  My father, who did his research on the film, reminded me that it is shown in black and white.  Telling him that I knew, I reminded him that it wasn’t going to bother me. Look who you’re talking to, I said as I raised an eyebrow.  This son of theirs have got them in the mood to start trying out new films that some/many of us have seen already.  To name a few associated names of these films:  Charlie Kaufman, Spike Jonze, Paul Thomas Anderson, and Wes Anderson.  They weren’t fans of The Master or Synecdoche, New York, but they love Punch Drunk Love.  They will get there, the coming around part.

The fact the movie is a black and white film is excellent in my opinion.  The touch is genuine.  It’s a step back from what we’re all commonly used to–the modern times and film making with vibrant colors, high definition, and overuse of CGI.  Of course, this is not something everyone will agree with.  The movie takes place in 2014, which is easily calculated by hearing the specific dates in the film.  Black and white is a treat in all opinionated honesty.  For those who come to the theater wanting to be entertained may not find this opinion as appealing either–the viewer can focus on the dialogue and acting as well as the art of the film making.  There were no pretty faces in the movie, by the way, which adds to the overall raw appeal to the film.

Nebraska slipped around me after I saw the trailer.  When all the movie’s nominations were highlighted, scratching my head was my only response.  What turned me off from paying attention was, I’m sorry, Will Forte.  He was good in his years with Saturday Night Live, but he has that baby-esque face and appearance that prevents me from taking him seriously.  With the hype, it was unknown if I was going to like the film.  However, after seeing Nebraska:

  • I’m rooting for Bruce Dern to take home the Oscar.
  • A new level of respect for Will Forte has grown.  I would personally like to see him in more serious/dramatic roles, including Run & Jump.
  • My adoration black and white art is continually growing, deepening.
  • I’d like to write for the pictures more than ever
  • I need to travel.
Click for source.

My father was a Cornhusker back in the day.  Yes, my New-York-City-born father traveled out to the Midwest for college.  The vast, sparse land was accentuated throughout the film.  It could be viewed as a lonely place, but seeing the open road inspired me to want to travel and drive on those roads.  It would be fun driving into what seems like forever, cruising with the windows down and playing music.  It would even be fantastic to have a companion, and it would be great if said companion would have a convertible of some sort.

There are so many states that are asking to be visited.  A gentlemen commented on my blog post about Syracuse today, and he’s visited all the states, and that comment sprouted some envy.

Ah, adventure.  Ah, settling loneliness.  Ah, eventual paranoia.

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But the line would have to be drawn somewhere and at sometime.  No, I don’t do drugs; this personal expectation is pleasing to be met.  As much as traveling would be adored and appealing, living life constantly on the road and around the globe, settling down and having a family is a bit more desirable.  There is plenty of exploring to be done wherever one ends up, and it will be incredible to have that family to explore with.

17 thoughts on “Nebraska

  1. thanks for the tip man. the movies sound great and i love Bruce Dern, who incidentally is fairly close to my generation. i love him in John Wayne’s ‘the Cowboys’.

    1. You are welcome, Bob. Dern shows his acting prowess, his intelligence, and this is the perfect movie for all the “youngsters” to see this acting inspiration at work. Like Dern and those who preceded him, he truly defines the craft.

      I absolutely love “The Cowboys.”

      As always, thanks for stopping by!

  2. OK, being that I’m from the Midwest, I can attest to the fact that you are missing nothing in regard to traveling through Nebraska. It’s flat, open land and it’s beautiful but after 200 miles it’s beyond boring. So I suggest driving through part of Iowa, hitting Nebraska and cut over/down to Colorado. And yes, a convertible is a must!!

    1. One day, I’ll get that convertible… Actually, scratch that. I’m a Wrangler guy, who is living–driving–vicariously through his parents. That’s the type of “boring” I’d like to experience. Music is endless, and the more tired that I become, the louder it will get.

      Thank you for helping me map out my route, by the way. 🙂

  3. I think you need to take that trip to Nebraska, Chris. Put the Springsteen album of that name in the CD player and go, go, go.

    If you haven’t listened to that stark album, I recommend you find the song “Open All Night” online right now and open your ears but good. The Boss rocks to some simple fried chicken memories.

    1. No road trip is complete without music from The Boss, and there has to be a “few song” limit. Many Springsteen songs have to accompany a driver. (And, oh, how Springsteen sounds so appropriate coming out of car speakers–let alone any speaker.)

      I know “Open All Night,” and that would be a great song to play while on the open road. Thank you for this clutch song suggestion, Mark.

  4. Saw this last week, such a sweet film. I thought everyone in it was great and Will Forte was a delightful surprise.

    Still voting for Matthew McConaughey for best actor 🙂

    1. Maggie! Thanks for the input as always. Forte was definitely delightful.

      The Hollywood is showing Dallas Buyers Club, and I’m going to try to see it before the week ends. McConaughey has been choosing so many smart roles lately. This film cannot be missed, and I anticipate seeing it.

      Hope you had a great weekend.

      1. I have seen Dallas twice and it is so good. I hope you like it! Great performances, great story telling. I will do my Oscar post this week, if I haven’t seen it yet, it ain’t going to be seen 🙂

  5. I grew up in Nebraska…born and raised! I could give you a grand tour from the panhandle to the College World Series in Omaha. I lived in a rural community til 18 and as an adult in Omaha for 7 years. I love Omaha and the fine arts community 🙂 In college I met a fantastic guy named Mikey from Brooklyn. He was a so fun. …memory lane.

    1. A Mikey from Brooklyn. Haha. It’s stereotypical, and I can hear him introducing himself in the Brooklyn accent. As you know, many might not yet, I love Brooklyn, so that comment is all love and joking around.

      Don’t hate on me, Brooklyn.

      Hey, my boys from 311 are from Omaha, and it would be great to catch a concert there. It would be great to catch a football game as well. There seems to be much to do in comparison to what the movie “says.” Haha.

      1. Oh my gosh…we rocked a Beastie boy song together. He was everything stereotypical of Brooklyn and I loved it. There were three guys in our dorm that year from NY and we all fed off each other.

        Omaha has a fun scene, you’d probably love it. The girls in NE are way nice and gravitate to accents. You’d be married by next year easily. 🙂 LOL

      2. Hahahaha. Hey, my parents’ story of being married within a year has held strong–knock on wood–so anything can happen.

        It can be assumed that Omaha has a cool scene. Every place has a delightful personality and for the better.

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