I’m just going to say it: I hope you all are fans of Alexander Payne, because chances are I’m going to be posting a lot more about his new movie “Nebraska” this year.
1) It’s directed by Payne, one of the best American directors working. (Don’t argue with me on that.)
2) It’s called “Nebraska,” a state that is clearly among the most awesome states, in part because I grew up there. (Don’t argue with me on that, either.)
3) It’s written by Bob Nelson, who has roots in the Yankton/Hartington area and is a really nice guy. I’m hoping his screenplay goes on to win some serious accolades. (Seriously!? You want to argue with me on that? What is wrong with you?)
So what’s the news here?
The Cannes Film Festival has released the first clip of “Nebraska,” and it is a juicy one. Check it out:
The movie premieres at Cannes Thursday, May 23.
Hitfix is breaking down the Cannes entries this year and had the following to say about “Nebraska”:
The buzz: Strong. For those who found “The Descendants” a little too slickly Academy-packaged for their liking, the new film’s monochrome look, absence of star casting and, of course, its return to Payne’s home state exude a back-to-basics appeal. The premise, however, still promises the emotional accessibility of his more mainstream work. Its announcement in the Competition lineup was greeted with more surprise and excitement than most, as several Cannes pundits had determined it wouldn’t be ready in time, and was likelier to premiere in Toronto.
The odds: Even if early reviews prime the film as the Oscar player Paramount is hoping for, that doesn’t make it any likelier that the festival will begin furnishing its award cabinet: from “No Country for Old Men” to Payne’s own “About Schmidt,” Cannes juries are often reluctant to reward films that seem likely to garner U.S. awards success further down the road. Then again, Spielberg is the festival’s most mainstream jury president in several years: if he resists any counterintuitive urges, and indeed zigs where many are expecting him to zig, Payne seems a likely beneficiary. Jigsaw Lounge grants him reasonable Palme odds of 10-1, though a likelier-on-paper award — and one that would take the film out of the Palme running, under current festival rules — would be the Best Actor prize, either for Dern alone, or jointly with Forte.
Read the entire Hitfix breakdown of “Nebraska” here.
I also happened across some comments Payne made about the film in January 2012 in an interview with ComingSoon.net:
“I’m always just so damn desperate to find anything that can make a movie. I’m serious. I also get questioned about what statement are you making and what themes are personal to you and I’m always thinking I’m so grateful to have barely found a story that you can make a movie. I’m not eating humble pie. I just want to keep doing it and making movies. This one is not a grand statement and it’s not particularly important to me. “The Descendants” wasn’t entirely personal to me. I just thought it would make a decent movie and it would be fun to make. I also think about what would be fun to make.”
Read more of that here.