Google+

Father and Son Bond during Nostalgic Road Trip across America’s Aging Heartland

 

Nebraska

Film Review by Kam Williams

 

77 year-old Woody Grant (Bruce Dern) is an addlepated alcoholic whose brain is so bent out of shape that he’s convinced he’s struck it rich after getting one of those mass-produced letters in the mail announcing that you’ve just won a million dollars in a Nebraskamagazine sweepstakes. Nevertheless, he soon sets out on foot by himself from Billings, Montana to collect his grand prize in Omaha, Nebraska.

Once it’s clear that the cantankerous curmudgeon can’t be talked out of that foolhardy endeavor, son David (Will Forte) opts to drive his dad there. This doesn’t sit well with Woody’s acid-tongued wife, Kate (June Squibb), who’s too well-grounded in reality to indulge the old coot’s nonsense.

However, as futile as the quest might sound, the pair’s ensuing sojourn across four states does prove rather fruitful. After all, not only does it afford father and son a chance to spend some quality time together, but they also get to catch up with lots of long-lost friends and relatives they visit along the way.

Eventually, Kate and elder son, Ross (Bob Odenkirk), join them en route, grudgingly making the long jaunt a family affair. Nebraska 2It’s understandably hard for them to be enthusiastic about an outing inspired by a fraudulent marketing scheme.

Still, sometimes, getting there is all the fun, as is the case with Nebraska, a nostalgic road trip unfolding against the barren backdrop of the heartland’s crumbling infrastructure. The film was directed by two-time Oscar-winner Alexander Payne (for writing Sideways and The Descendants) whose decision to shoot the picture in black-and-white was nothing short of a stroke of genius.

For the lack of color only serves to further emphasize the absence of hope in a rural region left devastated by the failure of its factory, farm and small town life. It’s no wonder, then, that some of the pour souls the Grants encounter might seize on Woody’s pipe dream as a way of alleviating their own misery.

Featuring a career performance by Bruce Dern destined to be remembered during awards season, Nebraska is a lighthearted character study which, ironically, offers a stone, cold sober look at the downsizing of the Midwest’s American Dream.

 

Excellent (4 stars)

Rated R for profanity

Running time: 115 minutes

Distributor: Paramount Pictures

 

To see a trailer for Nebraska, visit:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvW_DmfKfSk

Or: http://www.nebraskamovie.com/videos.php

 

,

Entertainment

And the Oscar Goes To…

  And the Oscar Goes To… by Amy Lignor   When it comes to the Oscars, the word “upset” is used almost every year. In at least one category, usually the supporting actor or actress role, there is more often than not a huge surprise when it comes to the winner. However, when you look back at the awards season thus far, it seems that the same names keep coming up again and again, with no upset in sight. What became mostly a surprise … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

  The President's Kitchen Cabinet The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press Hardcover, $30.00 292 pages, Illustrated ISBN: 978-1-4696-3253-7 Book Review by Kam Williams “[This opus] vividly tells the stories of the African-Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Ice Cube in a Mellow Mood!

  Ice Cube    The “Fist Fight” Interview with Kam Williams Ice Cube in a Mellow Mood! Born O'Shea Jackson in Compton, California on June 15, 1969, Renaissance man Ice Cube is an actor, writer, producer, director, rapper, philanthropist and father. N.W.A., the rap group he co-founded with Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, MC Ren and DJ Yella, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2016. Cube made his feature film debut in 1991 in Boyz n … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

ChatterBaits a Key for Early Season Bass

  ChatterBaits a Key for Early Season Bass When the ChatterBait bladed jig burst onto the scene in 2006, many anglers considered it another ‘flash in the pan’ lure that would quickly slide off the radar, as seems to be so common in the fishing world.  However, over the last ten years, this unique spinner/jig hybrid has carved out a permanent spot in the tackle boxes of most serious bass anglers and has repeatedly been a top producer in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Looking Forward to the NFL’s “Top” Free Agents

  Looking Forward to the NFL’s “Top” Free Agents by Amy Lignor   Now that the Patriots have (once again) walked away with the Super Bowl title, it is time that the NFL teams focus on the draft and what free agents they need to most definitely keep on their roster. The Pittsburgh Steelers always seem to be on all the “experts” lists to make it to the end and finally get back to the Super Bowl’s main stage. Unfortunately, the Steelers can’t … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Business Industries to Explore in 2017

  Business Industries to Explore in 2017 by Amy Lignor   It’s no surprise that with the popular TV show “Shark Tank” taking over the headlines, promoting small businesses and giving people the chance to ‘make it big,’ that the industry researchers have gotten together a list of the very best opportunities when it comes to starting up companies in 2017. The profits are there, in some categories, just waiting to be made, and most do … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Perfect Vacation Spots in Small Town, USA

  Perfect Vacation Spots in Small Town, USA by Amy Lignor   Yes, big cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, as well as Orlando always rate as being perfect vacation spots to travel to in the U.S. of A. But, oddly enough, small towns are out there littering the road maps that are fun and kooky enough to draw visitors each and every day. Some even have extremely fun names like, Accident, Maryland, Peculiar, MO, and even Ugly, TX. So if … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]