His driving licence having been revoked, Woody (Bruce Dern) keeps setting off on foot to Nebraska to claim the million bucks he thinks he’s won from one of those claim-your-prize flyers. His wife and sons tell him it’s just a marketing gimmick, but the taciturn, stubborn yet strangely gullible (though also borderline senile) Woody won’t listen.
His younger son David agrees to drive Woody the 1400km to Lincoln to satisfy his curiosity. David has mixed feelings about his father, a lifelong drinker and loser, but his own life is nothing to brag about.
Yes, this gently comic road-trip movie is about a son inching closer to understanding his dad. As they drive through America’s deadshit heartland, it gets easier to see how Woody turned out the way he did. Nebraska looks every bit as depressing as Bruce Springsteen’s album of the same name.
The film, like the state, goes on for slightly longer than necessary, but it has its attractions. 7/10
Released February 20, 2014.