Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time!
Empire's Guardians Of The Galaxy Cover
Does Star Wars Have A Brain Trust?
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Movie News

LATEST HEADLINES
TODAY
Anthony Hopkins And Evan Rachel Wood Head To Westworld
Joining HBO and Jonah Nolan's killer robot pilot
New The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Still
Look to the skies!
More Movie News

RELATED NEWS
28 May 2014
Tarantino's Hateful Eight Back On Track?
Rumours claim a November shoot
More Movie News

RELATED REVIEWS
Run & Jump
Empire Star Rating
Nebraska (2013)
Empire Star Rating
Nebraska (2013)
Empire Star Rating
The King Of Marvin Gardens
Empire Star Rating
The Descendants (2012)
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Cannes 2013: Nebraska Initial Reaction
Cannes 2013: Nebraska Initial Reaction
Alexander Payne's latest comedy-drama keeps it in the family

23 May 2013  |  Written by Damon Wise  

submit to reddit

Nebraska, by Alexander Payne, is the third of four American films in competition at Cannes this year and has potential to figure somewhere in the awards come Sunday. There's a lot of speculation that Spielberg and his international jury will leave the US out of the reckoning, but this obstacle could be neatly sidestepped by either a special or a joint prize (or perhaps just a special mention). Payne and the film itself are less likely to figure, but star Bruce Dern must surely be worth consideration, as is his co-star June Squibb and the whole ensemble.

In retrospect, Payne's sixth feature is perhaps a long overdue morale-booster after last year's emotionally draining Palme d'Or winner Amour. Shot in unfussy, unaffected black and white, it begins with an old man, Woody Grant (Dern), walking down a busy Montana highway. Taken in by a cop, he is picked up by his son David (Will Forte) and returned to his frustrated wife Katie (Squibb). At his parents' home, David learns that Woody – an old man slowly succumbing to dementia – thinks he has won a million dollars in a lottery and is going to state capital Lincoln to claim his winnings. David tries to persuade Woody that it's just a marketing scam, but Woody won't have it, so after his father makes several failed attempts to bolt, David agrees to drive him there.

What begins as a road movie takes a sharp turn when Woody and David break the trip by stopping off with relatives in the town of Hawthorne, where Woody and Katie met in their youth. Here, the Grant family start to encounter the ghosts of the past, not to mention the present, as the locals get wind of Woody's good fortune and try to cash in, not realising it is all a terrible misunderstanding. Which sounds like the formula for a bleak, melancholic buddy movie, but Payne's movie is much broader than that. When Katie unexpectedly joins the duo, the film finally begins to reveal itself: by turns laugh-out-loud funny, sad, wry (in Payne's traditional deadpan style) and unbelievably poignant, it skews a little older than some of Payne's previous work, but like the Coens' Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska is a grown-up crowdpleaser certain to figure on this year's awards trail.

Nebraska is out in the US on December 22.


Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

New Rush Trailer Squeals In
Everyone's driven by something
Disney Re-Scales Pete's Dragon
UPDATE: David Lowery in talks to direct his script

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Video: Dwayne Johnson And Ian McShane Talk Hercules
The Rock and his seer talk action and ancient superheroes

Classic Feature: The Making Of The Silence Of The Lambs
Is this the most frightening movie ever made?

Classic Feature: Jack Nicholson - Gods Among Us
Charisma, consistency and cunning summed up in a single word: Jack.

Director Matt Reeves Spills Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Secrets
What we learned from our Empire podcast spoiler special

Peter Fonda On Peter Fonda
The Hollywood legend relives his career highlights

Kevin Feige Talks Ant-Man, Guardians Of The Galaxy And Doctor Strange
The Marvel boss updates us on the state of his cinematic universe

Video: Gary Oldman And Keri Russell Talk Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes
Would you watch Carry On Up The Planet Of The Apes?

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)