Nebraska opens in a handful of theaters this weekend, and while it might not be the splashiest debut at the box office this month, it's one of the worthiest. The family drama is director Alexander Payne's first film since 2011's Oscar-winning The Descendants, and stars Will Forte and Bruce Dern as a father and son who set out on an ill-fated road trip. Shot in black and white with the sprawl of the Midwest as its backdrop, this is a film bound to resonate with audiences. Here's why:
It Features One of Those Rare, True Breakout Performances
If you thought SNL alum Will Forte would forever be MacGruber in your mind, you have another thing coming. The comedian puts in a surprisingly quiet, defeated, and tender performance in Nebraska, laced with a subtle humor that The Falconer never possessed. It may have been an off-kilter and risky casting choice to place Forte in such a dramatically demanding lead role, but the heart and sincerity he brings to the film also made it one that greatly paid off.
Anyone who grew up in a small town will feel a solidarity with some of the real-life clichés of Americana here. Main Street bars that all look identical inside and come with their own gaggle of regulars? Check. A deeply ingrained obsession with owning a new and gleaming pickup truck? Check. The honor and excitement that comes with the chance at being featured in the local paper? Check.
Find out more about why you should see The Descendants after the jump.