City Paper is not for tourists
Fans of ’70s cinema will find a home in Nebraska. From the opening studio card (a retro Paramount logo) to the star (Bruce Dern) to the aesthetic (the film is shot entirely in black and white), everything about Nebraska seems designed to evoke the era of New Hollywood. Dern plays Woody, a quiet but cantankerous retiree who is duped by a misleading sweepstakes notice into thinking he has won a million dollars. He and his son David (Saturday Night Live’s Will Forte, surprisingly effective in a dramatic supporting role), who knows he hasn’t won but is eager to spend a little time with his dad, drive from Billings, Mont., to Lincoln to claim his winnings. The road trippers get waylaid in Woody’s rural hometown, where a colorful cast of small-town folks come out of the woodwork to congratulate, extort, or simply reconnect with him. And while Alexander Payne, a Nebraska native, has a good time poking fun at the provincial rubes, Nebraska works best as a stark and emotional exploration of a man and a town that time forgot. The film shows at area theaters beginning Nov. 22. Showtimes.