A huge recommendation for critically-acclaimed American indie director Alexander Payne’s most recent film Nebraska. The film is shot beautifully in black and white and delivers a subtle visual rendering of a broad comic premise: an aging alcoholic played by actor Bruce Dern attempts to collect on his million dollar sweepstakes “winnings” by traveling hundreds of miles with his son, who humors him (to a degree) in hopes of becoming closer. Dark at times, but essentially a stark tribute and character study drawing upon Payne’s own connections to the Midwestern US. The film recalls both David Lynch’s The Straight Story and the movies of the 1970s and 80s that paid tribute to earlier eras of monochromatic filmmaking from Peter Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon to Jim Jarmusch’s Down by Law. I’ve loved Bruce Dern’s performances ever since I saw him (and he scared the daylights outa me) in reruns of old westerns and biker movies, or as the Vietnam vet in Coming Home or the pilot of the Goodyear blimp in Black Sunday. Dern’s Woody Grant in Nebraska is a well-written role allowing for a finely tuned performance by a great actor.