Nebraska: Before I even get started on this review let me start with this. All the Oscar hype is totally deserved. The premise of this film is simple enough "An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize." (From IMDB) What results from a simple plot of an old man believing he won 1 million dollars based on a piece of junk mail, is a beautiful, amusing, and heartwarming film. Directed by Alexander Payne (born in Omaha, NE) of The Descendants and Sideways fame, and starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte, and June Squibb, the film manages to make you fall in love with some of the most average people ever portrayed on the big screen (and probably the most real).
The choice to film in black and white brilliantly brings focus to the characters and their relationships, instead of their surroundings, which in the middle of nowhere Midwest, isn't much anyway. The theme of this film at it's heart seems to be that of family, not just the good, but the bad and the ugly side as well which we see as the old man, Woody, and his son encounter long lost relatives and old friends, on their doomed journey to collect Woody's winnings. The son (who knew Will Forte could be serious by the way?) learns things about his father he never knew which will change their relationship forever.
I'm not sure I can say enough positives about this film, especially without giving away some of the best scenes. What I will say is see this film, even if it's the only Oscar nominee you get to see this year.