Nebraska (the movie)-- directed by Alexander Payne/ starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk/screenplay by Bob Nelson/rated R/115 minutes
Bifocal Review written by Ageless1der, Barbara Rich & The Other Guy
for L&L Magazine and
(BR) Thank God for June Squibb; she is the only performance that made this seemingly endless field of nothing worthwhile. If not for her, I would have fallen asleep. I might add that the gentleman sitting in front of me, did indeed fall asleep and snored lightly. How long does one have to drive through barren lands and sit in a living room with comatose aging men to get that in some towns, states and regions nothing interesting ever happens? Will Forte’s presence in those rooms and scenes made me feel, at times like I was watching a Saturday Night Live skit, so someone might say something funny any minute, but they never did. It is not impossible to have a sparsely populated screen keep my attention, if other conditions are met. Even films as simply plotted as About Schmidt starring Jack Nicholson, was very entertaining. Movies without the large budgets for costumes and special effects can be great. This one just isn’t. I give this film one binocular, mainly because of June Squibb. She dominated every scene she was in, I missed her when she wasn’t present.
(OG) I really wanted to like this movie. I love going to the movies and I almost always find something positive to say, even if it is only a about the way a line was delivered or the editor did a great job putting the scenes in the proper order. There is rarely a movie that I feel, after watching it, that the time was wasted. Sadly, that is how I feel about Nebraska. This film is nearly two hours, but it seemed MUCH longer. Why? Because, nothing happens! I was reminded of the classic Seinfeld episode where George is trying to sell television executives on the idea of a show where nothing happens, but that was television. Nebraska is not a tv sitcom. Even on television, when there is no plot per se, at least there are funny lines, gags and bits to fill the time. This is a movie, a film that we paid money to see, and all I can remember is that nothing happens. There is no suspense, no mystery, no emotional development of characters, no interesting dialogue, no real resolution of plotlines or themes. There is nothing, for two hours, except, as Barbara said June Squibb lifting her dress to flash someone buried in a cemetery. I don’t really know who she was flashing or why, but at least I remember the scene. One binocular seems fair and for the same reason stated above.