This year, we wanted to look back at the nine best picture nominees and remind ourselves — and you — that reactions to film are complicated, hilariously varied and wonderfully individual. So we looked over every comment for every nominee at RottenTomatoes.com, and we brought you some of our favorites. We'll be rolling these out between now and the Oscars, and today, we look at Alexander Payne's Nebraska. (Many thanks to my dear pal Bob Mondello and rad NPR Multimedia whizzes Claire O'Neill and Kainaz Amaria. As you will see as these unfold, we had a lot of fun.) Check out our previous looks at American Hustle, Her, Gravity, Philomena and Wolf of Wall Street.
Bob's sincere Internet movie review: Bruce Dern's Woody Grant seems to have stepped right out of a Grant Wood canvas, and the gentle comedy around him — about a crusty old coot taken in by a sweepstakes scam — blends Grapes of Wrath landscapes with all the orneriness, humor and greed filmmaker Alexander Payne can cram in.
Linda's sincere Internet movie review: Bruce Dern is doing the more noticeable acting here, but Will Forte, best known for his years on Saturday Night Live, is surprisingly subtle and lovely as well. There are times when it edges toward painting the Midwest as quaint and adorable in a way I didn't entirely like, but it stays on the right side of the line.
Know your stuff before Oscars day!
- Bob's review of Nebraska
- David Edelstein's review
- Kenneth Turan's review
- An interview with Bruce Dern
- Alexander Payne on Fresh Air
- Alexander Payne on Weekend Edition Sunday