Nebraska: All Aboard the Old Coot Express!

by Ethan Alter November 15, 2013 6:00 am
<i>Nebraska</i>: All Aboard the Old Coot Express!

After a scenic detour to Hawaii with 2011's The Descendants, Alexander Payne returns to his familiar Midwestern stomping grounds in Nebraska, a deceptively low-key road movie that carries some real comedic and dramatic bite. Superficially, the film resembles a spiritual sequel to About Schmidt in that it once again involves a cantankerous old coot (Bruce Dern, in the place of Jack Nicholson) journeying across the flat plains of America's heartland on a trip that brings him into contact with various members of his extended, obnoxious family. (Nicholson and Dern even share the same onscreen wife -- the marvelous June Squibb). But for me at least, Nebraska is less a continuation of Schmidt than a corrective to it; that sour, borderline sadistic film stands out as the weakest entry in Payne's filmography, whereas Nebraska is one of his finest works. While it traverses some of the same ground as its predecessor, it does so with a wisdom and wry sense of humor that can often (though not always) accompany growing older.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

by Ethan Alter February 25, 2014 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, February 25, 2014

So when are we getting the Loki franchise, Marvel?

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