Laugh And Cry At ‘Nebraska’

Movie poster for ‘Nebraska.’ Courtesy photo




Would you look at a senile, drunk, limping old man any differently if you found out he was a millionaire?


In “Nebraska” (2013, rated R), screening at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mesa Public Library, Woody (Bruce Dern) believes he has won a million dollars. His wife Kate (June Squibb) and adult children know it’s a scam, but his son David (Will Forte) agrees to drive him some 850 miles to pick up the check.


The greatness of this film isn’t its plot, which is pretty straight-forward. I’m not spoiling anything when I say Woody doesn’t win the money.


It could be a grim picture: an alcoholic, who doesn’t seem to love anyone, loses again. But everyone’s a character. When Woody sees his brothers again for the first time in years, rather than have a conversation, they watch football, although they appear to have zero interest in the game.


David’s cousins Bart and Cole (Tim Driscoll and Devin Ratray) talk almost entirely about cars, but they don’t appear to actually know anything about cars.


Woody’s wife Kate (June Squibb) deserves special mention for flashing a tombstone. The whole thing is hilarious, and chronic alcoholism is not something I usually laugh about. However, the comedy’s not what makes this great, either. I especially love a movie that can make me laugh out loud and cry, all while changing my mind. Director Alexander Payne has created one of these rare films in “Nebraska.”


Thursday’s show is part of the Free Film Series, which brings movies to the big screen in the library’s meeting room “theater” on the first Thursday of nearly every month. Other films coming up this year include “Wadjda” Nov. 5 and “The Book Thief” Dec. 3.


All screenings are free, thanks to the Friends of Los Alamos County Libraries.

For more information, call the library at 505.662.8240 or visit under “Upcoming Events.”