The comedic yet dramatic tale of an aging man making a road trip to Nebraska with his family is directed by Alexander Payne (Descendants, Sideways) who knows how to make films with a wonderful home is where the heart is mentality, especially Nebraska – Payne’s hometown where Election, and About Schmidt were also set.
Beautifully shot in widescreen black and white, this heralds the mythical landscape and gives a somewhat melancholic and nostalgic tone yet the script, so clever and taut gives the characters full vent to express their quirks and warmth – wrapped up in a comedic blanket of family love and hate set pieces.
Bruce Dern and June Squibb are just brilliant as the aging couple with terrific supporting performances from Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk and Stacy Keach. The majority of the characters are people we rarely see onscreen: real people who are utterly ordinary and yet utterly wonderful.
The film is of course a road movie; a commentary on human nature and the Midwest as a bold frontier of dreams and emotions, which at turns provides discomfort and comedic relief. Full of hope, promise and disappointment with family dynamics and done at a leisurely pace this unfolds naturally and with ease so the audience can relax and savour every delightful scene – this engaging, bittersweet drama is an absolute gem of a film.