An ageing alcoholic by the name of Woody (Bruce Dern) gets a letter saying he has won $1million. Naturally, he wants to set straight out to claim his winnings so he begins to walk to Nebraska. From Montana. That's pretty far for a 77 year old. His sons David (Will Forte) and Ross (Bob Odenkirk), and his wife Kate (June Squibb) try to convince him that is all a scam, but Woody is stubborn and eventually David agrees to take him. After hitting some troubles on route, they stay with some family in Hawthorne, Nebraska where Woody grew up, and Woody begins to explore his old town. When he reveals that he has won some money, he becomes a local celebrity and everyone wants to be his friend, or get some money out of him. Cue a lot of bar scenes and a lot of swearing from an old lady, this is the road trip of the future featuring heroes from the past.
Bruce Dern, at 77 years of age, is getting the leading man acclaim that he well and truly deserves. Woody is an incredibly realised performance who is entirely loveable and at the same time it is impossible to not fully identify with Forte's David and his annoyance at his father. Speaking of Forte, a man known for his comedy work, puts in a fantastic turn here. Further proof that comedy actors should not be limited as such. Whilst the film is absolutely hilarious, it is the reality of the relationship primarily between David and Woody that makes the film so honestly touching. There is a true sense of family between all the leads and a clear, real love for Woody from Squibb's Kate. At first she comes across as a cynical, grumpy old lady, but as the narrative progresses, we see what she has to deal with on a daily basis with Woody and suddenly you realise how much she truly loves him. It is the most honest representation of ageing love since Amour.
|She's just a little old lady... oh.|
A truly spectacular achievement in cinema. Absolutely beautiful to watch and gloriously meaningful. Plus, ridiculously funny and also extremely touching. Payne's newest masterpiece has it all and it is one you could watch again and again.
Best Bit? Perhaps it fits quite well with the dampened happiness of the film but the family take a trip to the cemetery to see where Woody's family are buried. Kate, who clearly did not get on with them all too well, discusses each grave in turn that would have the deceased rolling under her feet.