New Releases: 2nd June

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB:

Dallas-Buyers-Club-Poster1Matthew McConaughey stars as real-life AIDS patient Ron Woodruff, an accidental activist who smuggled unapproved pharmaceutical drugs into Texas after they improved his symptoms. Distributing his supplies to fellow patients through the Dallas Buyers Club, Woodruff faced FDA and establishment opposition, but refused to cease his exploits. I enjoyed the film. It’s draining, as well it should be, and McConaughey gives it hell. Nevertheless, I’m wholly weirded out by what the film does: find a hero for the AIDS crisis – through careful styling and, an albeit reasonable, rompy narrative – in a homophobic cowboy. Yeah it’s based on a true story, but telling liberties have been taken with the facts, not just about Woodruff  but about the drugs too. Look it up. It’s a nuanced and worthwhile film, particular for its handling of the overlap between self-interest and altruism, but be sure to scratch deeper should you feel compelled.

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JOBS:

JOBSposterAshton Kutcher is Steve (Apple) Jobs. Hahaha. Ahaha. 7 YouTube comments about Jobs

Worse movie ever

this film is very inspiring and emotional if u watch it all the way to the end

Spoiler alert. He dies at the end

lok dum

Horrible movie…About a horrible corporate creep…About a horrible company.

Was Jobs a good movie?? And i don’t want the reviews of Rotten Tomato or some other website. I want the review of someone who actually understood a movie like Cloud Atlas and appreciates movies like War Horse. Thanks!!!

This might be the film of this decade.

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GRUDGE MATCH:

Grudge-Match-PosterAging boxing rivals are coaxed out of retirement for one final bout, thirty years after their last fight. Against my better judgement and completely lackluster reviews – “A preposterous, worthless mediocrity” – I will be watching this and when I do will try my very  hardest to enjoy it. One simply must care about these important men. Here’s a trailer for a documentary De Niro just made about his father and here’s the opening credits from Stallone’s excellent Paradise Alley (1978).

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THAT AWKWARD MOMENT:

That-Awkward-Moment-Movie-PosterComplete and utter.

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THE ARMSTRONG LIE:

The-Armstrong-Lie-e1380918211183Until October 2012 this documentary was called The Road Back and was about Armstrong’s post-retirement comeback to professional cycling. Temporarily shelved when Armstrong was exposed, the film was back on in January ’13 when director Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark SideMagic TripMea Maxima Culpa) got the big scoop from Lance mere hours after his moment on Oprah.

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VEEP (SEASON 2):

veep-poster-030614s<a href=Armando Iannuci’s brilliantly acid satire returns. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the Veep, is exceptional and all over the place as a vice-president equal parts political animal/glorious mess. She is currently my second favourite government official.

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ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

OUT OF THE FURNACE:

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A CASE OF YOU:

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JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT:

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TRUE BLOOD (SEASON 6):

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Posted by William Goodey

Fresh on our Shelves (fresh, like spring rain… pfff):

So it’s spring – that time of year known for its hail storms; when the sky parts and the clouds vomit a years worth of icy grit; London is awash with the traditional monsoons – one raindrop away from washing down the Thames and landing us all in Calais or back on the beaches of Dunkirk; and where everyone shivers at home, trying to warm themselves by a roaring candle. Ah, May! Some say summer’s coming. But what’s that?

Once we’re done jumping in the puddles and gloating that we probably need never wash our cars again, let us huddle around the glow of our TVs, for whilst the wind has been battering our coiffeurs, spring has sprung to our shelves (yes, they have been dusted recently) and brought us a fresh brood:

MPW-29785BIGGER THAN LIFE (1956)

Nicholas Ray takes on attitudes towards mental illness and addiction and brings out a powerhouse performance from lead actor, James Mason.  A seriously ill man (Mason) is persuaded by doctors to take a new miracle pill which he soon finds, not only eliviates the symptoms of his illness, but leaves him feeling really remarkably well indeed. So well, in fact, that he inevitably begins to abuse this wonder drug by significantly upping his dosage, causing wild side effects and a psychotic break that threatens the welfare of himself and his family. Co-starring Barbara Rush as the suffering wife. Watch out for the son with his mini-James Dean red windbreaker,  à la Ray’s Rebel Without a Cause:

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Rebel-Without-a-Cause_James-Dean-jeans-cake.bmpI wonder what the cake signifies… Definitely daddy issues – possibly of the oedipal variety. Oh, for a peak into the mind of Nicholas Ray. Actually, if that sounds appetising – check out Lightening Over Water (1980), the bizarre, spellbinding, and deeply affecting experimental docu-film Wim Wenders made on his friend whilst Ray, who was dying of cancer, was attempting to complete his final film.

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lindsay-i-know-who-killed-me-25147503-800-600I Know Who Killed Me (2007)

Is it amazing? Is it atrocious? Most people (including the good folk at IMDb) believe the latter. Well. If you’ve watched a lot of cult/B-movies you might well see the genius in it. If you haven’t, then its atrocious. And, yes, it does have Lindsay Lohan girating on a pole, which was probably info enough to send most critics into the cinema with bazookas. Just watch it as though it were a cult classic (which it should be, if it hasn’t reached that status yet). Squint and imagine it was made in 1971. Basically, don’t throw rotten eggs til you’ve seen it. Then, knock yourselves out.

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escape_from_alcatrazESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ (1979) – dir. Don Siegel

Based on a true story. Self-explanatory.

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MPW-33975WHO’S THAT GIRL (1987) – dir. James Foley, who also directed At Close Range (1986) (starring Madonna’s then-husband, Sean Penn) and the infinitely superior, Glengarry Glen Ross (1992). I have nothing to say about this. And I actually quite like Madonna.

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masked_and_anonymousMASKED AND ANONYMOUS (2003) – dir. Larry Charles (who also direct Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno AND The Dictator). Starring every famous person who has ever lived (which immediately makes me suspicious) – including Bob Dylan.

posted by Dixie Turner

New Releases: 26th May

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS:

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The lovely new film by Joel and Ethan Coen. I watched this at the pictures and it was like a door stopper had been popped under my day so that this sweet, moody and feline little film could creep in. Some critics have called it cold but I don’t see it that way. It’s melancholy, and melancholia can be good warm stuff. Loosely based on the autobiography of Dave Van Ronk – and the beautiful likes of Paul Clayton – the film charts one week in the life of a Greenwich Village folk singer in 1961. My lover loved this film on a transcontinental flight, and my lover don’t please easy. Meowww.

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STRANGER BY THE LAKE:

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Also saw this at the pictures. Best thing I’ve seen this year at the pictures, actually (or maybe joint best with Under the Skin). It’s so much harder to write about films you like than the ones you don’t/you despise (see below). Stranger by the Lake won Alain Guiraudie best director at Cannes last year, it also got the Queer Palm. Cop-out because it’s amazing, but I don’t quite have the wherewithal/desire to break it down here: it’s an exceptional film and I look forward to talking with you about it in-store.

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AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY:

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Get out of my face.

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I, FRANKENSTEIN:

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Lol.

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posted by William Goodey

The buzz on bees…

Bees are a funny business. One minute they’re in deadly peril, the next, they’re cruising for bargains down the local high street – with an apparent soft-spot for Topshop.

Environmentalists have been up in arms about their dwindling numbers for years, warning about the devastation that this will have on our food supply, and reminding us of such facts as ONE SINGLE TEA SPOON OF HONEY IS EQUAL TO THE  LIFES WORK OF TWELVE HONEY BEES and that, when taking those long, lush honey baths we’re all so used to, we should at least remember to pop down to Wholefoods to be sure to fill our tubs with organic.

Now that bees appear to be dropping like flies, it seems we may all need to start cultivating an appetite for alternative food sources. Our future shopping lists may well included Heinz Baked Ants (bees would be so much better here, but, alas…), Walkers salt and vinegar (will we have grapes to make vinegar?) flavoured crickets, and Levi Roots’ Jerk Spiders. Well, that sounds fine, but, whilst dining out: “Would madam care for a bamboo soup?” Hmm. You’ve lost me there.  “And for desert, a self-pollinating apple tart?” I know a self-pollinating apple will look just like a normal apple, but I keep picturing it spinning in my hand. (If you were round and self-pollinating, wouldn’t you spend your time just rolling in yourself?)

Anyway, to prepare us for the appetising eventuality of this screaming disaster, here are a few documentaries to keep us up at night (standing in the glow of the open fridge, taking a mental picture of the contents as a keepsake…):

BeesVanishing of the Bees (2009)

MV5BMTYwMDA1NDI1MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDM0MzQ4OQ@@._V1_SX640_SY720_More than Honey (2012)

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OR JUST CLICK HERE

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posted by Dixie Turner

LOOKING FOR OUR PRIZE-WINNER!

 

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posted by Dixie Turner

New Releases: 19th May

WOLF OF WALL STREET:

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We have approx. ten billion copies of this in rental. We need them, Wolf of Wall Street is gonna go go go.

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Leonardo DiCaprio is real life scumbag Jordan Belfort, an NYC stockbroker that got himself greasy, head-deep in filth, fraud and corruption back in the 1990s. Martin Scorsese is the director and gets the film jamming along better than most could. A film to make you feel dirty. It also has the sad, sad honour of being the first major studio-film distributed to cinemas in exclusively digital format. No 35mm prints at all – the last one Paramount made of those was Anchorman 2, yuck.

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ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK:

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This series is cause for excitement. I have quite literally been shaking in anticipation. Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) is sentenced to 15 months in a women’s federal prison for transporting a suitcase full of drug money to her former girlfriend Alex Vause (Laura Prepon) – an international drug smuggler. The offence occurs ten years prior to the start of Orange Is the New Black, and in that time Piper has moved on to a quiet, law-abiding life. In prison, Piper and Alex are reunited.  Whilst rehashing their relationship, they get to grips with fellow inmates… This has gotten stunning reviews and looks wonderful. Season two is on its way soon, so get in on the ground floor.

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CRIMSON FIELD:

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BBC series about the lives of medics and patients at a field hospital in France during the First World War.

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posted by William Goodey

Back and forth forever and ever and ever…

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tumblr_n5hkeoEYpp1qaf3hqo4_500… because it’s rude not to say:

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posted by Dixie Turner

Speaking Parts (Atom Egoyan, 1989)

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In a hotel where an uncanny reality makes moves against the isolated desires of the characters, Speaking Parts (Atom Egoyan, 1989) is a cold trip. It is loaded with unrequited love, quiet anguish, subtle and not-so-subtle power plays, technological alienation and the consequences of unruly passions.

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This film is full of curly black hair. Gabrielle Rose gives a wonderfully measured performance as a writer who is losing control of her work to a film production. Arsinée Khanjian, Egoyan’s wife, plays the insular and dreamy housekeeping staff who is obsessed with her colleague, an aspiring actor played by Michael McManus, whose blankness is chilling. Although the film shares a great deal with the spooky dreamscapes of David Lynch and the weird modernity of early David Cronenberg, Speaking Parts seems most closely akin to the kinds of crises we find in Joseph Losey’s Accident (1967). Having painted this quiet grey picture, I must add, the film is not without humour and the sentimental speeches made by the stoney faced David Hemblen as “The Producer” are golden.

This film gets bonus points because it has scenes set in a video shop.

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Check out the amazingly vintage website of Speaking Parts star Michael McManus:

http://www.michael-mcmanus.com/

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posted by Tom Moore

 

New Releases: 12th and 5th May

12 YEARS A SLAVE:

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That poster is five stars short of fifty. If it weren’t, I might raise the specter of a certain star-spangled banner. Might try to shape up a little comment about critical acclaim, history, nationalism and what I’d probably try to describe as 12 Years a Slave‘s ‘precarious authority’.  But that poster is five stars short of fifty and 12 Years a Slave is a film I haven’t even seen yet. So rather than poke and postulate, which I’m usually happy to, I’ll just say that this must easily be the most important film out this week. The New York Times‘ Manohla Dargis: “the genius of 12 Years a Slave is its insistence on banal evil, and on terror, that seeped into souls, bound bodies and reaped an enduring, terrible price.”

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47 RONIN:

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Yeah you guessed it; 7 Youtube comments about 47 Ronin

Why does he still talk like he has no acting skill??
You would think he would learn over time.

Just saw the movie and i loved it!  8.1 out of 10

stupid american shit….you destroy everything…

sorry but i like it

Why do people hate this movie?

I seen this movie last month.

LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!! and I’m a girl who doesn’t like sumari movies… but this was exceptionally GREAT

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CUPCAKES:

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No doubt, this looks fun! From the director of Yossi.

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AFTERNOON DELIGHT:

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Rachel is a stay-at-home mother. Rachel is frustrated. Rachel has a lackluster sex life and career gone kaput. Rachel visits a strip club to spice up her marriage and meets McKenna, a stripper. Rachel adopts McKenna as her live-in nanny. Afternoon Delight director Jil Soloway says her film, “make[s] people uncomfortable. It particularly makes men uncomfortable.”  Soloway has made a pilot called Transparent (starring Jeffrey Tambor as a transgendered father) that just got picked up for a full season by Amazon Studios. Most importantly, Soloway wrote a short story called Courteney Cox’s Asshole

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ALSO OUT THIS WEEK:

WISH YOU WERE HERE:

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GENERATION WAR:

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New Releases: 5th May

RAILWAY MAN:

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From what I can tell Colin Firth turns in a performance of intense emotional complexity in an extraordinary true story that is powerful and harrowing, touching and credible. I see that the film is based on the best selling book by Eric Lomax and was in cinemas New Year’s Day. … … Really though, what can Iii say about The Railway Man? It smells of Ronseal. Total wood preserver. You don’t need me. Actually, truth be told, I have quite the soft spot for Colin. Some say we share a resemblance but I just think that’s completely accurate. Swoon. What I wouldn’t give just to watch him sleep. Go on, you know you want to.

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LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON:

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This was supposed to hit our shelves in February but got pushed back. Here’s what I said about it then… I really wanted to see this when it played at London film festival last year. By Hirokazu Kore-eda (I Wish). The critical consensus is that Kore-eda stands as cinema’s principle chronicler of everyday Japanese life; Ozu’s heir. He’s certainly got a knack for tapping that profound and poetic core of the quotidian. IMDb blurb: “Ryota Nonomiya is a successful businessman driven by money. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another child after birth, he must make a life-changing decision and choose his true son or the boy he raised as his own.” As sensational as that dilemma might sound, I’m sure Like Father, Like Sons treatment of it is both delicate and provocative. Recommended in advance.

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REASONABLE DOUBT:

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A thriller, filmed in Winnipeg. “Reasonable Doubt received negative reviews”.

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ALSO OUT LAST WEEK:

MAMMON:

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30 ROCK SEASON 7:

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posted by William Goodey

Film of the Day: Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

P-P-PLEASE EDDIE!

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Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future trilogy, Death Becomes Her and Romancing the Stone, but Forrest Gump). Starring London’s own son, the recently departed, BOB HOSKINS of the broad neck and the hairy shoulders; hard not to love even though he did insist on reminding us how good it was to talk for ALL THOSE YEARS. But he did give us Roger Rabbit. And Mermaids (1990). And Hook (1991) and The Long Good Friday (1980) and Mona Lisa (1986). Ok, and also Super Mario Bros. (1993) but how could he have predicted what a colossal pile of crap that would turn out to be? How?

He played the hard-working (and oh-so-clearly working class) joe who had a bit of a broken mug and who knew how tough life could be, but who so often had a heart of gold. Take a dive at him and he could probably knock you out. Look past his visage and embrace his cockney swagger, all “Nah!” and “Bollocks!” (Pauline Kael rather memorably described him as a “testicle on legs”, but she was still a fan) and you’d find a pal.

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ROGER: A LAUGH CAN BE A VERY POWERFUL THING. WHY, SOMETIMES IN LIFE, IT’S THE ONLY WEAPON WE HAVE.

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EDDIE: WHAT’S UP, DOC?

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EDDIE: GEEZ.

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(SPOILER ALERT!) HOLY SMOKE! HE’S A TOON!

Also starring the wonderful and terrifying, Christopher Lloyd.

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JESSICA RABBIT: I’M NOT BAD; I’M JUST DRAWN THAT WAY.

And also featuring the strangely uncredited voice of Kathleen Turner as the smoldering and frontally-challenged, Jessica Rabbit.

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Mickey Mouse: Gosh, I wonder who he really was?

Bugs Bunny: I’ll tell you one thing, Doc. He weren’t no rabbit.

Daffy Duck: Or a duck.

Goofy: Or a dog.

Pinocchio: Or a little wooden boy.

Big Bad Wolf: Or a… sheep.

Woody Woodpecker: Or a woodpecker.

Sylvester: Or a pussy.

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Bob Hoskins interview

Bob Hoskins’ Guardian obituary

'MONA LISA' FILMING ON SET AT BRIGHTON PIER, BRITAIN - 1986

posted by Dixie Turner

Nebraska (2013)

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Reviewed by Rob Munday

Nebraska, one of those states you can’t put your finger on unless you’re looking at a map (and even then it may take a while). Florida, New York, California all come with pre-wrapped expectations: sun and sand, New York New York, and Arnold Schwarzenegger; but Nebraska is largely a blank. And that works for this film, as Alexander Payne’s latest is about a lost America, a place strangely devoid of the life it should have.

Woody (Bruce Dern) is out on his own. Coat flapping, cotton wool hair torn apart by the wind, he walks along the great American pavement (or highway as it’s better known). Woody has purpose, he’s off to Nebraska, keen to collect the million dollars promised to him in a letter. But he has ignored the small print; the letter is just a circular. Woody’s no millionaire, he’s just a deluded old man.

NEBRASKAHorrified by his antics, his wife Kate, a lady full of grouch with a foul mouth to match, calls in son David for help. But David is ill equipped for this task; his life ain’t going so great and he’d rather not deal with this old man who never did much for him. Woody’s having none of it; he’s going one way or the other – maybe a road trip to Nebraska is just what David needs.

This being Payne, Nebraska is no ode to the open road but instead a chance for these characters to get to know each other. Woody and David get diverted on the way and become caught up in their past – back in the small town where they once lived. The shadow of recession looms large here. There is nothing much happening in this town beyond beer and TV; the streets lie empty and forlorn in the hope tumbleweed may provide some excitement.

They stay with relatives who all seem stuck in arbitrary lives. The mum fusses pointlessly, the dad sits watching TV along with the two fat sons who may as well be called Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. A beer in their hands they all seem happy to wait for the apocalypse. For David you can see the creeping horror, this is what happens when you get caught in the flow of everyday poverty. Meanwhile word gets around of Woody’s fortune and excitement spreads. We see the stink that money brings, the praise heaped on those who have it and the base instincts its lure encourages.

NEBRASKAAs time slips by David learns more about his dad’s past and his view starts to change. Maybe Woody is less a drunk that’s lost his marbles and more damaged goods after living a life too open to abuse in a cynical world. There is pathos in Woody and this is down to Dern who holds the screen beautifully with his usual mix of unpredictable magnetism. He’s aided by the casual evil of Stacy Keach (who plays his nemesis Ed Pegram) and understated support from Will Forte as David.

This is the first of Payne’s features not to be written by him and yet Bob Nelson’s script is not only based in Payne’s home state but fits right in with his output. There is a sadness in Payne’s work, a disappointment with people in general but also a willingness to care for them and laugh at their foibles.

nebraska-movie-image-01Nebraska moves at a casual pace and has the solid feeling of a well crafted film but there are missteps. Scenes are played flat and slow which can lead to deadpan delights but when the acting falters, proceedings soon become stilted and lifeless.
This is a gentle and effective comedy but you may yearn for the bite of Payne’s sharp debut Citizen Ruth, a film that starred Bruce Dern’s daughter Laura.