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Nebraska

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An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

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Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
  • An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.
  • “NEBRASKA” is a father and son road trip, from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska that gets waylaid at a small town in central Nebraska, where the father grew up and has scores to settle. Told with deadpan humor and a unique visual style, it’s ultimately the story of a son trying to get through to a father he doesn’t understand.
  • The Grants – father Woody, mother Kate, and adult sons Ross and David – live in Billings, Montana. Aged Woody is approaching dementia, although the family likes to think that he solely believes what appears on the surface, Woody’s delusions which are exacerbated by a lifetime of heavy drinking. The latest belief that Woody has is that he has won $1 million, which everyone in his family knows is one of those scams for people to purchase magazine subscriptions. As such, Woody, who does not trust the US postal service to mail in his “winning” certificate, is determined to walk to Lincoln, Nebraska, the headquarters of the company, to pick up his $1 million. All he really wants with the money is to buy a new pickup truck – something he’s never had and despite the fact that he should no longer be driving – buy an air compressor to replace the one stolen from him decades earlier, and to leave a little legacy to Ross and David. Younger son David, an electronics salesman who has just broken up with his girlfriend and thus needs a distraction, agrees to drive Woody to Lincoln just to humor him, but not before making a stop in Hawthorne, Nebraska – Woody and Kate’s hometown – for a family reunion, which will include news anchor Ross and acerbic tongued Catholic Kate in a few days. David does not want Woody to tell anyone in Hawthorne of the “$1 million”, but news of such does get out. This news colors Woody and David’s interactions with their relatives and old friends and colleagues, including with Woody’s old business partner, Ed Pegram. But this time in Hawthorne is also an illuminating one for David, who learns much about Woody and why he is the way he has always been, and about his parent’s relationship as it concerns himself and Ross.
  • The first time we meet taciturn Woody Grant (Dern), he’s walking down the shoulder of a busy road in Billings, MT — so determined to reach his unknown destination that he fails to acknowledge the kindly police officer who’s struggling to get his attention. When Woody’s dutiful son David (Forte) arrives at the local police station to pick him up shortly thereafter, we learn exactly why the old man was so singularly focused on his stride: Having recently received a sweepstakes letter stating that he has won one million dollars, Woody is determined to claim his prize in person at the company’s head office in Nebraska. Although David discerns right away that the letter is little more than a scam to sell magazine subscriptions, stubborn Woody already has tunnel vision — nothing will stop him from obtaining his jackpot, even if he has to walk 800 miles on his own two feet to do so. Of course, this doesn’t sit well with Woody’s outspoken wife Kate (June Squibb) or career-driven son Ross (Bob Odenkirk), but David is determined to humor his befuddled father nonetheless, eventually agreeing to drive him to the sweepstakes office personally despite having to call in sick to work to get the time off. Shortly after the two set out, however, the road trip threatens to get sidetracked when longtime alcoholic Woody winds up in the hospital following a drunken fall. Pushing their schedule back to make time for his recovery, the pair plan to take a detour to David’s Aunt Peg’s house in his father’s hometown of Hawthorne, where Kate and Ross will soon arrive for an impromptu family reunion. When Woody runs into his old pal Ed Pegram (Stacy Keach) at a local tavern and shoots his mouth off about his recent “windfall,” he becomes something of a local celebrity, and familiar faces come out of the woodwork to claim their fair share of the prize. Meanwhile, David learns more about his family during this one eventful weekend than he did during his entire childhood, prompting some deeply personal reflection that offers him a whole new perspective on the father who was always something of a mystery..

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