A father and son steer the American road comedy into a vanishing Midwest on the trail of a dubious fortune – and in search of an understanding of each other that once seemed impossible.
Stubborn, taciturn Woody (Bruce Dern in a role that won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival) believes he’s got one last shot at mattering: a notice that he’s the lucky winner of a million-dollar sweepstakes. To claim his fortune, Woody insists he must quickly get to the sweepstakes company’s office in Nebraska – a 750-mile journey that seems unlikely given that he can barely shuffle down the road a few blocks, at least not without stopping for a drink. Worried for his father’s state of mind, it falls to Woody’s reluctant, baffled son David (Will Forte) to accompany him on a trip that seems hilariously futile on the surface.
When Woody and David make a pit-stop in their hometown of Hawthorne – with the Grant’s tart-tongued matriarch (June Squibb) and anchor-man son (Bob Odenkirk) joining them – word of Woody’s fortune makes him a returning hero, while also opening a view into the unseen lives of David’s parents and a past more alive than he ever imagined.
Certificate: 15 Distributor: Paramount
Dir. Alexander Payne, US, 2013, 115 mins
Cast: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb