Nebraska is one of the best films of 2013. It is still playing in theaters so there is still time to see it.
Bruce Dern plays Woody Grant, a retired auto mechanic who lives with his wife Kate in a tiny run down house in Montana. Woody receives one of those annoying junk mail flyers saying he has won a million dollars. However, unlike most people, Woody actually believes that he has won. He decides to go in person to the headquarters of the contest company to collect him money. Unfortunately the company is located in Nebraska and since Woody no longer drives he has no way to get their. He tried repeatedly to get their, including trying to simply walk from Montana to Nebraska. His son (played by Will Forte) finally decides that the only solution is to actually drive Woody to Nebraska.
This is a touching, emotional movie filmed in black and white. In some ways it is reminiscent of the road trip taken by Tom Cruse and Dustin Hoffman in Rain Main. Woody’s son learns more on this road trip then he ever knew about his father. In the beginning of the movie you just assume that Woody is nothing more than a senile old man. Along the way we come to see that Woody is a much more complex character than most of his family has ever realized. One woman asks the son if Woody has Alzheimer’s Disease to which the son replies sadly , “No. He just believes what people tell him.”
One of the best performances in the film is by June Squibb, who plays Kate Grant, Woody’s very outspoken wife. At first they appear to be a bickering old couple, but later we see that there is a deep love and trust between the two. Woody is a gentle, non-confrontational type, while Kate on the other hand is not afraid to take on anyone who crosses her, or who dares to try to mistreat her man.
We will not give away the ending of the movie other than to say that they do make it to Nebraska and that even late in life there are all sorts of ways to be a prize winner.