Nebraska: A Movie Review

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Jan 052014

Nebraska Movie PosterNEBRASKA is the story of a father and son road trip, from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska that gets waylaid at a small town in central Nebraska, where the father grew up and has scores to settle. Told with deadpan humor and a unique visual style, it’s ultimately the story of a son trying to get through to a father he doesn’t understand, and a father trying to finish his life.

In Theaters: November 15, 2013; MPAA Rating: R (for some language); Genres: Drama, Comedy; Distributors: Paramount Pictures

Director: Alexander Payne

Writer: Bob Nelson

Cast: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach, June Squibb, Devin Ratray, Mary Louise Wilson, Rance Howard, Tim Driscoll

“Nebraska” stars Bruce Dern playing Woody Grant, a 77-year-old who lives in Billings, Montana. Woody’s received at Publisher’s Clearinghouse type sweepstakes mailing, and believes he’s won a million dollars. Not trusting the Post Office with a million dollars, Woody sets off to Billings. Unable to drive, we see Dern on foot, hoofing his way on the outskirts of Billings and on his way to Lincoln, Nebraska to claim his prize. It’s clear that the years have not been kind to Dern’s character Woody. An alcoholic with some obvious signs of dementia, Dern plays the character perfectly. Continue reading »

About Schmidt – A Movie Review

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Jun 142008

About Schmidt Movie PosterWarren Schmidt is a retired insurance salesman, who at age 66, has no particular plans other than to drive around in the motor home his wife insisted they buy. He’s not altogether bitter, but not happy either, as everything his wife does annoys him, and he disapproves of the man his daughter is about to marry. When his wife suddenly dies, he sets out to postpone the imminent marriage of his daughter to a man he doesn’t like, while coping with discoveries about his late wife and himself in the process.

Genres: Comedy, Drama, Romance and Adaptation; Running Time: 2 hrs. 5 min.; Release Date: December 13th, 2002 (LA/NY); MPAA Rating: R for some language, brief nudity.

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, Kathy Bates, James Crawley

Directed by: Alexander Payne

I only recently watched this movie. I watched it on the very small screen of my mobile phone while flying home from Dallas. I do have noise cancelling headphones, so I don’t miss much of the dialogue, but there are sometimes distractions.

About Schmidt is one of those movies that one has to think about. It doesn’t hit you over the head with the message of the movie within the first 10 minutes. so, frankly, this can make it somewhat boring. But it’s a quiet treat if you stick with it.

The movie if anything else is sly. Its the story of a recently retired man, and his own “personal discovery” and the examination of his own life, as cliche as it sounds. While some would consider the awkward silences in the movie, editing mistakes or purely bad script this movie in fact is exceptionally well done. Even the subtle way the scene is pictured and the little jokes (like the scene where Schmidt is driving and says “life is short” and then a bug hits the window of his car)are well written.

Overall this movie may not have been “entertaining” to the short attention span masses who think obvious sex inuedos and been there done that plots are the best movies, but if you’re up for a movie that makes you reflect a bit on yourself, About Schmidt certainly slips you a little moral of life, without cramming it down your throat like a billbord in a fortune cookie.

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