|Bruce Dern in Nebraska|
Woody has two sons, David (Will Forte), who works in a store selling audio equipment, and Ross (Bob Odenkirk), who is this family’s version of a go-getter: he does reports for the local news, and has recently been given the chance to serve as anchorman, when the regular newsreader gets sick. David, whose girlfriend has just dumped him, looks like a complete sad sack, resigned to settling into a lousy job and a lonely apartment, but there are signs that some part of him still hopes for better things: he’s quit drinking, an impulse that Woody can’t even make sense of in theory. David views Woody as little more than a living reminder of a lot of bad memories, but after he’s picked the old man up while shuffling along the side of the road a few times, he decides to humor him and drive him to Lincoln. It’s the only way to exorcise Woody’s fantasy; it might even be a chance for the son to know something he doesn’t know about his father, or at least, give the old man an excuse to be grateful. Anyway, it’s a change. Once the movie leaves Billings, its defining images are the cinematographer Phedon Papamichael’s black-and-white shots of multiple lanes of highway stretching out across the Midwestern scenery, blights on the landscape connecting nothing to nothing.