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Review: Searching for meaning, money in ‘Nebraska’

2014-01-17-Nebraska-movie-posterAnother art house project receiving a wider release in the run-up to the Academy Awards, “Nebraska” is a funny, emotionally engaging film with a simple story about aging parents and forgotten dreams, themes most of us can relate to.

“Nebraska” is deceptively simple, both in story and in the sparse directing style Alexander Payne (“The Descendents”) uses to bring that story to the screen. What isn’t simple is the acting, led by Bruce Dern (“Big Love”) in a performance that was just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.

This is not a film for those looking for action or quick story motions, but unlike “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which I also reviewed this week, “Nebraska” does have a distinct narrative arc with a conclusion that is both realistic and satisfying.

“Nebraska,” like many art house features, isn’t for everyone, but is a film that–despite being in black and white and lacking much action except for one sucker punch–is funny, compelling and entirely relatable.

The film is rated R for some language.

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