Nebraska Trailer: Father and Son on the Road to Nowhere and Everywhere

Posted: September 18, 2013 in Movies


The joke of the poster for Alexander Payne’s Nebraska is that Bruce Dern is Nebraska.  The wind swept hair provides the folk image of the plain’s state.  The geographic outline, a jagged rectangle rounded into a rough right top and bottom corners matches Dern’s wizened profile.  That’s the Nebraska that the rest of the country sees in black and white.

Alexander Payne also grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and most of his films are set there.  The trailer echoes with personal memories colliding with myth and truth trying to find a level ground to walk on.

Will Forte of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock is the Payne stand-in, the  prodigal son who returns to reconcile the very little of the past that remains golden.   Bruce Dern is his dad who may or may not have won the lottery since his life exists in the loneliness of alcohol fueled regrets.

The son thinks it’s all a fraud.  But the hard scrabble and desperate citizens of the town, a collection of characters that could easily fit into A Grapes of Wrath remake, think its true and line up to ask for their due.

The truth, if it exists at all, isn’t in the cold of  Montana where father and son currently reside, but down the road in Nebraska.  The trip becomes the trip all estranged children and parents eventually must take to get to not necessarily the right path but the right place.

Bruce Dern’s performance is getting Oscar buzz.  Payne directed 5 actors in Oscar nominated performances: Jack Nicholson, Kathy Bates, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, and George Clooney.

Nebraska opens November 12th.

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