I missed this film when it first came out, so was thrilled to finally get a chance to catch up on it tonight. (Not least because it was the last on my list of Oscar Best Picture winners to watch before Sunday!)
Set in a bleak black-and-white American Midwest, this is a father-son buddy movie quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Woody Grant (Bruce Dern), a man of few words, is quietly growing old in a sleepy town in Montana. When he receives a letter through the post telling him that he has “won a million dollars”, he is determined to collect on his prize, even if he has to walk to Lincoln, Nebraska himself to claim it, much to the dismay of his wife Kate (a scene-stealing June Squibb) and estranged sons David (Will Forte) and Ross (Bob Odenkirk).
Having never knowingly watched Dern before, I can’t tell whether this is indeed the role of his career (as I have been told), but he certainly convinces. He may be a man of few words, but he gets the mannerisms of dementia absolutely spot on. June Squibb steals every scene she is in, despite using language that I certainly wouldn’t want to hear from my grandmother. And Will Forte forms the perfect foil as the straight man to the rest of their dysfunctional extended family.
Whether you manage to catch this at the cinema or have to wait until April for the DVD, I would definitely recommend taking the time to view it. Just maybe don’t take your parents…