November 14, 2013 |
It's the letter everyone's received. The one that gets your attention by saying you've won a million dollars but is actually all about selling magazine subscriptions. But what if someone truly believed they'd won that million? And what if that individual was your crabby, cranky and cantankerous father and he insisted on going to prize headquarters to collect his money? In person. That, in a nutshell, is the premise of Alexander Payne's poignant and ruefully funny "Nebraska. " But summations can't convey the filmmaking delicacy that marries tart-tongued comedy with unexpected warmth in a story that touches on family, memory, getting old and staying alive.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 25, 1998
I just finished reading Scott Harrison's Ventura County Life column, "Last Goodbye to Woody Slowly Soaking In," (Jan. 18) and was deeply moved. Our golden retriever, Winston, is now 13 and is showing the inevitable signs of aging. Scott's description of Woody's place in the family struck a familiar chord as Winston has helped us in spoiling and comforting four grandchildren. Winston has also been a great teacher. We are volunteer puppy raisers for Guide Dogs of America, and Winston has taught a succession of puppies how to be dogs.
November 16, 2013 |
June Squibb was in a bit of shock when she first saw her performance as the tart-tongued wife of Bruce Dern's character in Alexander Payne's "Nebraska. " Squibb had encountered women like the controlling, outspoken Kate growing up in a small town in Illinois. Still, she had no idea while making the movie just how well she knew the shrewish Kate. "I thought, 'Oh, my God, that's my mother up there,'" recalled Squibb at a Beverly Hills hotel. "I never once thought of that when I was preparing and shooting the film.
November 16, 2013 |
The landscape of "Nebraska" is populated with such well-known actors as Bruce Dern and Stacy Keach as well as retired farmers making their debuts who live in the town of Plainview, Neb., where most of the film was shot. "I did see a lot of people for every part," said Payne. "I pay myself few compliments as a filmmaker, but I think [casting director] John Jackson and I cast well. " Though he doesn't have much dialogue, Rance Howard stands out as Woody's (Dern) older brother Ray, a taciturn couch potato.
November 1, 2013 |
Will Forte is the kind of person who's going to find something to be anxious about no matter the circumstances. So when the former "Saturday Night Live" cast member found himself unexpectedly cast in Alexander Payne's new seriocomic road-trip movie, "Nebraska," he felt all the natural emotions - excitement, gratitude, disbelief. But there was also a voice in his brain telling him, "This is nice, but somebody's going to talk some sense into Alexander, so don't get too happy. " "I tend to drive myself crazy like that, overthinking things," Forte said during an anxiety-free interview.
February 23, 2014 |
Blue Is the Warmest Color Criterion, $19.95; Blu-ray, $24.95 Available on VOD beginning Feb. 25 For all the controversy over the explicit sex in writer-director Abdellatif Kechiche's three-hour adaptation of Julie Maroh's graphic novel "Blue Is the Warmest Color," the film is ultimately just a sensitive and honest coming-of-age story, showing how a teenager discovers who she is with the help of her older lesbian girlfriend, then has to...