Director: Alexander Payne

Nominated: Best Picture; Best Actor; Best Actress; Cinematography; Director; Best Original Screenplay

When the nominations for this years Oscars were announced I commented on the inclusion of Nebraska being quite out there, the odd ball. And I stand by those comments having now watched Nebraska. It definitely has the most independent feel to it.

NebraskaI’m a film graduate so you would think that I’d have a deep appreciation for independent movies but the truth is more often than not I don’t. I often find independent films to be so overworked and self-aware, to the point where they border snobbery. There are a few films that I appreciate, like Brick (2005, Rian Johnson) but that list is woefully short for a cinephile. I unabashedly admit to really enjoying Hollywood fare! Nebraska sadly falls into the former category.

It’s a meandering film with a very slow pace and sadly not very much happens. To be perfectly honest it just bored me. There are a couple of moments where Bruce Dern’s drug-addled Woody Grant comes out with some chuckle worthy asides, I particularly enjoyed his comments on Mount Rushmore, but these were not enough to keep me interested in the story I’m afraid. I can’t see how his performance warranted a nomination when Tom Hanks gives a far superior and nuanced performance in Captain Phillips and was overlooked.

I think the thing that irritated me the most about Nebraska was that it was shot in black and white with no apparent reason behind that decision. It made the film pretentious and self-indulgent. It’s not like we don’t have the equipment to capture color, unlike the films created in the infancy of cinema. And more importantly it’s not like we see in black and white!

As you can tell I didn’t like Nebraska all that much and stand by my original statement that it’s the odd ball of this years Oscars. I’m sure some people not like the film but love it, I’m just not one of those people.


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