Somehow Nebraska was ten times better than I thought it would be.
It’s a sullen treatise on death, family, regret and failed expectations painted in incredibly delicate brushstrokes. It packs all these themes and more into one 100 minute movie and does so with the greatest nuance and understatement.
There are a million different ways that in the wrong hands this film could have fallen into the trap of being kitchsy, cliche, cheaply humorous or overly sentimental and it restrains itself on every front. You have to take your hat off to Alexander Payne for striking a perfect balance of tone that’s so, so hard to achieve. It further cements Payne as one of the most interesting and talented directors working today.