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"MacGruber" fans, rejoice: a follow-up to the cult-favorite action spoof is still in the cards - at least on paper. "June 10th my writing partners John Solomon, Jorma Taccone and I are locking ourselves in a room and writing it," Forte told Rolling Stone at the Cannes Film Festival, where he's out promoting his role in Alexander Payne's "Nebraska." "We were happy with how the original came out. I guess you wouldn't call it a [box office] success but people got to see it, sometimes you just have to be happy with that." Forte has teased a sequel to "MacGruber" for »
- HitFix Staff
Blessed with some of the best weather of what's been a very rainy festival, Alexander Payne's Nebraska received a doubly warm reception at its Cannes world premiere Friday evening. The director's austere but stirring family dramedy -- shot in black and white -- was given a prolonged and rousing standing ovation inside the Palais theater. The director was flanked by his stars Bruce Dern and Will Forte (former cast member of Saturday Night Live, making his dramatic acting debut), both of whom received a bevy of bravos for their performances. Forte got a little teary-eyed and was visibly moved. June Squibb, who
- Patrick Brzeski
★★★★☆ Following his stint on the international jury last year, Alexander Payne returns to Cannes with his black and white, geriatric comedy Nebraska (2013), starring veteran screen legend Bruce Dern. Woody Grant (Dern) is a weary old man approaching death. We first spy upon him on the open road, plodding resolutely - if unsteadily - towards the camera. The police bring him home to his nagging, belligerent wife (June Squibb). His sons, David (Will Forte) and Ross (Bob Odenkirk), are thus called in to try to deal with him. It turns out that their father has received a flier informing him that he's won $1 million, to be collected from Lincoln, Nebraska.
Unable to convince Woody that this is a simple scam - "My father believes things people tell him" - son David decides to drive him down to Lincoln and thereby rid him of the delusion. Payne's latest is a sharp, subtle and brilliantly-observed comedy drama which, »
- CineVue UK
Shot in black and white, Alexander Payne's new movie is a melancholic, gentle road movie
This year at Cannes, film after film has delved into the world of the wealthy. The Great Gatsby's lavish parties have been rivalled by only the madly superficial Roman fiesta that begins Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty. Meanwhile their glittering possessions are filched in Sofia Coppola's The Bling Ring.
But now Cannes has come back to earth, and the hyper-real colours have drained away. Shot in black and white, Alexander Payne's Nebraska is a "depression-era movie", the director said. A melancholic, gentle road movie of the post-sub-prime, recession-hit mid west, a landscape of dirt-poor farms, overweight and unemployed young men and with a chief character, like the companions in The Wizard of Oz, in search of a dream that turns out to be an illusion. Its visual style, said Payne, »
- Charlotte Higgins
This morning, Alexander Payne's black and white, father/son roadtrip film, "Nebraska," debuted in Cannes. Starring the unlikely trio of Bruce Dern, comedian Will Forte and Stacy Keach, “Nebraska” centers on a poor old man (Dern) living in Montana who repeatedly escapes from his house to try to go to Nebraska to collect a sweepstakes prize he thinks he has won. Frustrated by his increasing dementia, his family debates putting him into a nursing home -- until one of his two sons (Forte) finally offers to take his father by car, even as he realizes the futility of it all. It’s a comedy, and while our reviewer didn’t necessarily love it, she called it a “small-scale quixotic adventure about the importance of dreams,” and coming from Alexander Payne it's probably worth giving a shot, even if it didn't surprise us as much as we’d like.In »
- Rodrigo Perez
Payne premiered his black-and-white follow-up to "The Descendants" on Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival, where the gentle tale drew largely enthusiastic reviews for both its warmth and its colorless cinematography.
"It just seemed like the right thing to do for this film," Payne told reporters Thursday at the French Riviera festival. "I always wanted to make a film in black and white. It's such a beautiful form. It really left our cinema because of commercial, not artistic reasons."
"This modest, austere story seemed to lend itself to being made in black and white," he added.
Particularly in black and white, »
From the rumoured vantage point of a luxury yacht, Spielberg and his fellow Cannes judges may have a different perspective to critics on the pick of this year's offerings – not least Nebraska
Rumour has it that the jurors at this year's Cannes film festival occasionally bypass the official screenings, preferring instead to watch the films from the luxury of Steven Spielberg's yacht, with its infinity pool and state-of-the-art cinema. Obviously, there is no way of knowing if such gossip has any bearing on reality (not really mixing in those circles and all), but I do relish the image of the millionaire judges – Spielberg, Ang Lee, Nicole Kidman et al – vaguely squinting at the screen while the champagne and cigars are passed around. It sounds like something out of La Grande Bellezza.
What they are thinking is anyone's guess. By this stage last year, the consensus had it that Michael Haneke »
- Xan Brooks
After the glossy and faintly implausible Oscar-bait picture, The Descendants, director Alexander Payne has returned to a more natural and personal movie language for his new film in the Cannes competition. Nebraska is a bittersweet road movie starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte as Woody and David, an elderly father and middle-aged son taking an uncomfortable road trip together. Their story is laced with pathos, comedy and regret, recalling the classic indie cinema of Hal Ashby and Bob Rafelson. It is shot, with almost Amish austerity in monochrome, which gives a wintry, end-of-the-world drear to that homely roadside Americana that Payne loves to pick out with his camera.
Nebraska may not be startlingly new, and sometimes we can see the epiphanies looming up over the distant horizon; the tone is, »
- Peter Bradshaw
I've come to the conclusion that MacGruber 2 is the new Anchorman 2. It's the sequel we'll want for years and years, but the studio will keep waiting to see if the cult fanbase is big enough to warrant a greenlight (or if there's an empty spot in their calendar). It's also worth noting that Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy made waaaaaay more money than MacGruber. But Will Forte can look forward to being asked about MacGruber 2 every time he does an interview, and he still seems fairly optimistic about the possibility. In April, he said "there will be some form" of the sequel, and now he tells Rolling Stone, "June 10th my writing partners John Solomon, Jorma Taccone, and I are locking ourselves in a room and writing it." Forte also told Rolling Stone there have been discussions about bringing back Kristen Wiig and Ryan Phillippe. Of course, last June, »
- Matt Goldberg
Alexander Payne is on some kind of hot streak with all four of his major features receiving Oscar nominations and his last two (Sideways and The Descendants) both earning Best Picture noms and taking home statues for Best Adapted Screenplay. His latest, Nebraska, may have a bit of an uphill battle to keep the streak alive. Set to be released on the heels (by Payne's standard) of 2011's The Descendants, the charming film is a fair bit less accessible due to some pacing problems and the odd decision to shoot it in black and white. But once it gets going, the comic moments are pure Payne gold -- and the kind of heartwarming fare that the Academy might just flip for once again. Set...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Alexander Payne has become one of those figures who isn’t just a film director — he’s a genre. As much as I love Election, his 1999 breakthrough film, the Payne movie that really kicked off the Payne format was About Schmidt (2002). The leisurely, semi-planted version of the road-trip structure; the classically framed images of a falling-down American middle class that Hollywood is no longer in touch with and no longer knows how to show us; the earnest, damaged heroes with their family ties and family demons; the arcs that are built not out of screenwriting-class “story points” but, rather, out »
- Owen Gleiberman
Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," starring Bruce Dern and Will Forte as a father and son embarking on a roadtrip, screened today at Cannes. The response is thus far mixed to positive, with praise for the film's wistful tone and a "career-crowning" performance from Dern. Those less impressed site the film's slightness, calling it "affably unexceptional" and that it provides "not much to talk about." Roundup below. In a previous interview with Toh!, Payne described the film as "a father/son road trip from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska that gets waylaid at a crappy town in central Nebraska where the father (Bruce Dern) grew up, and where he has scores to settle." Dern's character, a washed-up, alcholic dad, believes he's won a Publisher's Clearing House million-dollar sweepstakes, forcing his distant son (Forte) to come along for some bonding and inevitable mischief-making. Variety:After making side trips to California’s Central Coast and Hawaii (for “Sideways” and. »
- Beth Hanna
After a sun dappled excursion to Hawaii with his most recent family drama "The Descendants," Alexander Payne returns to his native Midwest in the aptly named "Nebraska," which debuted Thursday at the Cannes Film Festival. It's another story of estranged parents and children and another road movie for an idiosyncratic director who has made a name for himself by contorting and collapsing the reliable genres to find something fresh and human in films like "Sideways" and "About Schmidt." The buzz around the festival for the black and white indie was strong with »
- Brent Lang
"Nebraska" is a name that stands alone. It's the name of one of Bruce Springsteen's best albums, and it's now the name of one of Alexander Payne's best films. Across the wide, bleak expanse of his "Nebraska," Payne gives us two charcoal figures: Will Forte and Bruce Dern. As Woody Grant (Dern) prepares to check out for good, he is driven by the singular goal of cashing in on a promised Publisher's Clearing House letter: "You have won $1,000,000!" His wife (the shrill and effective June Squibb) can't handle him »
- Sasha Stone
Set in the wide expanses of middle America, Alexander Payne's Nebraska still manages to feel small and claustrophobic a lot of the time. While in some ways the film is charming and gentle, it's largely acidic and sour. The motivations at the heart of the film are love, but the weathered and worn souls that inhabit Payne's windswept, black-and-white landscape, conjuring memories of Peter Bogdanovich's The Last Picture Show, are either too tired or too afraid to admit they even care any longer. The weight of this burden is not only seen on the characters' faces but felt by the audience throughout. Meet Woody (Bruce Dern), the grumbling, aged soul at the center of Payne's story. He received a "winning" sweepstakes mailer, the kind most of us know to throw away, and now believes he's the winner of one million dollars. Tucking his winning ticket into his left breast pocket, »
- Brad Brevet
With this year's edition of the Cannes Film Festival winding down (it concludes on Sunday), it's easy to forget there are still some heavy hitters left to premiere in the Competition, one of which, Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," screened this morning for press before its gala later on. Warmly received by the audience in attendance, who clapped enthusiastically right through to the end of the credits, the black and white family dramedy is smaller in scale than Payne's last Oscar-winning effort "The Descendants," but no less touching, wry and truthful in its depiction of a fraught family dynamic. "Saturday Night Live" alum Will Forte and acting legend Bruce Dern -- in a career rejuvenating role that could bring him some deserved awards attention later down the line -- star as a father and son on an aimless mission to claim a million-dollar sweepstakes prize that doesn't exist. Having received a scam letter in the mail, »
- Nigel M Smith
Cannes - "Nebraska," Alexander Payne's latest dramedy of American ennui and mislaid family relationships, opens with a vintage monochrome Paramount Pictures ident standing in for the flashier, CGI-enhanced mountain peak of recent years. It's a detail that may strike you either as a cute throwaway (hey, the film's in old-timey black-and-white!) or something rather more calculated. Like so many of his peers, Payne is deeply indebted to the American new wave of the 1970s, and with its Bogdanovich-esque lensing and revival of Bruce Dern, "Nebraska" cops to that debt pretty openly with this badge of cinematic classicism. That's all well and »
- Guy Lodge
With Instagram more popular than ever, it should be no surprise that indie movies are embracing the Inkwell filter, too. Newly in theaters is Noah Baumbach’s comedy Frances Ha, which sets Greta Gerwig in contemporary Manhattan but films her in retro black-and-white. And today at Cannes, Alexander Payne premiered his follow-up to The Descendants, another modern-day movie shot in monochrome. Titled Nebraska, it stars Will Forte as a Midwestern man who indulges his elderly father (Bruce Dern) when the latter wants to take a road trip to pick up the sham magazine jackpot he’s positive that he just won. (Think Publisher’s Clearing House.) At the press conference afterward, you’d better believe that the first question to Payne is the one that wary marketing executives must have asked him, too: “Why black and white?” “I wasn’t expecting that question at all,” Payne replied dryly.But the »
- Kyle Buchanan
After making side trips to California’s Central Coast and Hawaii (for “Sideways” and “The Descendants,” respectively), Alexander Payne returns to his home state of Nebraska for his sixth directorial feature, a wistful ode to small-town Midwestern life and the quixotic dreams of stubborn old men. Sporting a career-crowning performance by Bruce Dern and a thoroughly impressive dramatic turn by “SNL”/“30 Rock” alum Will Forte, Payne’s first film based on another writer’s original screenplay (by debut feature scribe Bob Nelson) nevertheless fits nicely alongside his other low-concept, finely etched studies of flawed characters stuck in life’s well-worn grooves. Black-and-white lensing and lack of a Clooney-sized star portend less than “Descendants”-sized business, but critical hosannas and awards buzz should mean solid prestige success for this November Paramount release.
Just as “The Last Picture Show” was a movie made in the 1970s about the end of ’50s-era innocence, »
- Scott Foundas
A strong sense of a vanishing past holds sway over an illusory future in Nebraska, Alexander Payne’s wryly poignant and potent comic drama about the bereft state of things in America’s oft-vaunted heartland. Echoing the director’s most recent film, The Descendants, in its preoccupation with generational issues within families, how the smell of money contaminates the behavior of friends and relatives and the way Wasps hide and disclose secrets, this is nonetheless a more melancholy, less boisterous work. It’s also defined commercially by the difference between a colorful, Hawaii-set comedy starring George Clooney and a black-and-white,
- Todd McCarthy
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