Larry Hudema
By Larry Hudema
May 17th, 2014

In the tradition of Father/Son journeys the likes of which include Daedalus and Icarus, the road trip depicted in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, (the former ending badly of course), and personal experience, “Nebraska” is a road trip of personal and relationship growth and discovery.

Starring Bruce Dern, as Woody Grant, whose rare comic role was “The Burbs” and who is also the only actor to have killed The Duke in “The Cowboys”, thus sliding him into the perpetual tag of villainy that changed his acting career forever. As John Wayne, influenced by a few too many shots of Wild Turkey, whispered to Dern prior to the scene….”Oh how they’re gonna hate you for this.” Prophetic? Perhaps. Dern remains one of my favourite Hollywood performers. “Nebraska” also stars Will Forte, as David Grant, Woody’s son’, (SNL and “How I Met Your Mother”). Also playing is this rib ticklin road trip flick are June Squibb, hilarious as Woody’s wife Kate, (“Scent of a Woman”, “About Schmidt”, and several various tv episodes, ie “Young and the Restless”, “7th Heaven”) and Stacey Keach, of “Mike Hammer” fame, as Ed. 

This nice ‘n light flick directed by the brother duo of Ethan and Joel Coen, possibly seeking a tad of redemption after “No Country for Old Men”, a very well done, very well acted but very bleak movie, opens with Woody, somewhat brain affected from years of alcohol consumption, determined to travel from Montana to Nebraska to claim his Mega Sweepstakes prize, the notification for which he received in the mail. Despite his estranged son and other family members attempting to convince him he didn’t actually win anything he is still determined to collect his prize and sets out on foot. David, ends up driving him…..thus begins a trip of father and son discovery and David trying to understand and get through to a father that does not understand. En route the pair swing through a small town in Nebraska where Woody grew up and where there are old scores to settle. Told with dead pan humour old acquaintances can’t wait to be the new “millionaire’s” best friend.

Spotlight Films will be presenting this sweetly escapist film at the Gem Theatre Tuesday May 27 at 7:30 pm.

Now I would like to thank IMDB (Internet Movie Database), Marius and Maureen Paquet of the Gem Theatre and our patrons, supporters and sponsors. 

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