Alexander Payne, USA, 2013o


An aging, booze-addled father takes a trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim what he believes to be a million-dollar sweepstakes prize.

Nebraska doesn’t look, sound or feel like any other movie I’ve seen this year—and not just because it was shot in widescreen black & white. Like all of AlexanderPayne’s films, from Citizen Ruth to The Descendants, it has a distinct atmosphere and singular point of view; that’s obvious from the first shot onward. Working from an original screenplay by Bob Nelson, Payne introduces us to characters we rarely see onscreen: real people who are utterly ordinary. Some are endearing, others eccentric, but all of them are genuine, like the irascibly stubborn old-timer played so well by Bruce Dern. He’s convinced that he’s won a million dollars in a mail-order sweepstakes and insists on traveling to Lincoln, Nebraska to claim his winnings. Instead of arguing, his luckless but good-natured son (equally well played by Will Forte) decides to humor him. Their road trip forms the centerpiece of the picture.

Payne has a Fellini-like eye for great faces, and Nebraska is full of them, in roles both large and small. They enrich an acutely observant comedy about life’s promises and disappointments, and the incongruity of family dynamics. (...)

Every contribution to this film is harmonious, from Phedon Papamichael’s fresh, black & white cinematography to Mark Orton’s evocative score. Stacy Keach, Bob Odenkirk, and feisty June Squibb head a first-rate supporting cast, while Bruce Dern gives the subtlest and richest performance of his long career. Nebraska is offbeat and low-key, which means it won’t appeal to every moviegoer, but I consider it a gem.

Eine samtene, schwarz-weisse Melancholie liegt auf «Nebraska», Orientierungslosigkeit sowohl in der Enge der Kleinstadt als auch am weiten Horizont. Gegen zuckrige Sentimentalität aber ist der Film durch eine bemerkenswerte Lakonie gefeit: Umwerfend einsilbig schreddert Bruce Dern jegliches Pathos. Der Alte weiss natürlich längst, dass es nicht mehr um das grosse Los geht, sondern nur um seinen Abschied auf Raten.

Hannes Nüsseler

Ein Werbeversprechen im Briefkasten bringt den versponnenen alten Woody (Bruce Dern) auf Trab - und zwingt seinen Sohn (Will Forte) zu einem unfreiwilligen Roadtrip nach Nebraska, wo die versprochene Million Dollar bereitliegen soll. Alexaner Payne dreht in Schwarzweiß, zeigt echte Amerikaner im Hinterland und träumt von der guten, alten (allerdings nur imaginären) Zeit, wo man jedem Versprechen glauben konnte.

Tobias Kniebe

Entre cruauté et cocasserie, Alexander Payne signe un road-movie drôle et émouvant, à travers les paysages désolés d'une Amérique rurale frappée par la crise, magnifiée par une image noir et blanc toute en contrastes.

Barbara Théate

Véritable peinture -en noir et blanc- d'une Amérique très très profonde, ce film d'atmosphères aux accents mélancoliques vire parfois, le temps d'un énième incartade de Woody, à la comédie. Nebraska est, pour l'heure, le film le plus abouti d'Alexander Payne. Le plus personnel aussi.

Franck Nouchi


The Guardian, 5/22/2013
All rights reserved The Guardian. Provided by The Guardian Archiv, 11/14/2013
All rights reserved Provided by Archiv
Stuttgarter Zeitung, 1/14/2014
All rights reserved Stuttgarter Zeitung. Provided by Stuttgarter Zeitung Archiv
All rights reserved Filmbulletin. Provided by Filmbulletin Archiv
Les Inrocks, 3/31/2014
All rights reserved Les Inrocks. Provided by Les Inrocks Archiv
Le Monde, 3/27/2014
All rights reserved Le Monde. Provided by Le Monde Archiv
Alexander Paynes criterion closet picks
/ The Criterion Collection
en / 12/5/2017 / 3‘45‘‘

Video Essay: Alexander Payne – The Science Of Failure
/ A Thousand Words
en / 4/1/2016 / 8‘42‘‘

Interview with Bruce Dern
/ DP/30: The Oral History of Hollywood
en / 12/24/2013 / 20‘00‘‘

Mark Kermode reviews Nebraska
Mark Kermode / BBC
en / 12/5/2013 / 8‘23‘‘

Clips and interview with director Alexander Payne
/ The Guardian
en / 12/10/2013 / 4‘46‘‘

From / SRF
de / 03‘16‘‘

Movie Datao

Drama, Adventure
Running time
110 Min.
Original language
ØYour rating7.7/10
IMDB user:
7.7 (123066)
8.0 (16)
7.0 (3) q

Cast & Crewo

Bruce DernWoody Grant
Will ForteDavid Grant
Bob OdenkirkRoss Grant


Alexander Paynes criterion closet picks
The Criterion Collection, en , 3‘45‘‘
Video Essay: Alexander Payne – The Science Of Failure
A Thousand Words, en , 8‘42‘‘
Interview with Bruce Dern
DP/30: The Oral History of Hollywood, en , 20‘00‘‘
Mark Kermode reviews Nebraska
BBC, en , 8‘23‘‘
Clips and interview with director Alexander Payne
The Guardian, en , 4‘46‘‘
Review The Guardian
Peter Bradshaw
Christy Lemire
Review Stuttgarter Zeitung
Thomas Klingenmaier
Review Filmbulletin
Frank Arnold
Review Les Inrocks
Jean-Baptiste Morain
Review Le Monde
Thomas Sotinel
SRF / de / 03‘16‘‘
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