Nebraska (the movie)

Nebraska seems like a voice from another time and place — mid-20th century, in the wide sweeps of the rural plains states. It is a slow movie, conforming to the pacing of a different era. It’s even in black and white — but far from being dated or hard to watch, this format adds beauty and depth to the images just as a black-and-white photograph shows the character in a lined face. And the setting is magnificent.

I don’t think this movie is for everyone. The person I watched with had trouble with the glacial pacing of some scenes. I was too distracted by the humor — scenes of elderly relatives sitting stiffly on the couch together watching TV, with a few words thrown in every few minutes, struck me as a portrait of misery and yet within recognizable experience, and very funny.

This movie shows us some harsh truths. Just as the small plains towns have been bypassed by time and progress, so have these people. Age has made their experiences faded and forgotten. Also, this movie gives us an honest look at human nature — a dysfunctional family, acquaintances eager to get out of an old friendship what they think they deserve.

Nebraska was directed by Alexander Payne (the Descendants), and starred Bruce Dern in a wonderful performance. It’s a good movie; I enjoyed it. And very different from today’s norm.

More information about Nebraska at IMDb, and at the movie website, here.