Tag Archives: Payne


13 Dec

This road trip’s payoff doesn’t come from the Publishers Clearing House

In his films, Alexander Payne has shown a strong predilection for men somewhere north of their prime, still adrift and looking for grounding. The roots of which took hold with “About Schmidt” (2002), got whacky and whiney with “Sideways” (2004) and then moved out onto the island of Hawaii with a more dour tone in “The Descendants” (2011). Payne’s latest, “Nebraska” may be the ultimate in mature male malfunction and, in a sweet elegiacal way, ties back to “Schmidt” as its protagonist, Woody Grant, played by a game Bruce Dern now nearing eighty, has a dry, fly-away comb-over reminiscent of Jack Nicholson’s hair-challenged Schmidt and ironically, in both films, those men’s wives were played by the same actress, June Squibb, who practically upends and nearly steals “Nebraska” as it sails into the third act.   Continue reading