By Matt Singer | Criticwire May 23, 2013 at 11:03AM
The Cannes Review Report rounds up each day's notable premieres, along with a sampling of their reviews and tweets from the south of France. Here's the reaction to "Nebraska," the new film from Alexander Payne, the director of "Election," "Sideways," and "The Descendants."
Director: Alexander Payne
Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Synopsis: "A poor old man living in Montana escapes repeatedly from his house 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 finally offers to take his father by car, even as he realizes the futility. En route the father is injured, and the two must rest a few days in the small decaying Nebraska town where the father was born and where, closely observed by the son, he re-encounters his past. (Don't worry -- it's a comedy.)"
"This comedy is hit and miss, but will probably earn a Best Picture Oscar nomination."
"Perhaps punches are being pulled, just a little. It doesn't stop 'Nebraska' from being a thoroughly sweet and charming movie, and a reminder of Dern's quality as an actor."
"The film's laughs are as low-key as Payne's reflective but straight-shooting style of storytelling, and there's a fair amount of sadness."
"Fits nicely alongside [Payne's] other low-concept, finely etched studies of flawed characters stuck in life's well-worn grooves."
"Unlikely to attract the box office rewards or Academy attention of his last film, 'The Descendants,' starring George Clooney -- it’s shot in low contrast black-and-white and gifts its father-son leads to Bruce Dern and Will Forte -- but it is altogether superior."
"An overfamiliar tale of connections broken and remade."
"Alexander Payne's movies walk a fine line between cruel satire and emotional truth, but in 'Nebraska,' it's particularly hard to discern which is which."
"The film is more of an eccentric road movie than a study of old age on the skids."
"A rank exercise in hicksploitation sentimentalism."
"A grown-up crowdpleaser certain to figure on this year's awards trail."
"NEBRASKA takes a while to get going but there's some Payne gold once you pan through the sentimental sand. Bruce Dern is excellent. #Cannes"
"#Cannes2013 Alexander Payne' NEBRASKA a lovely road movie about family ties and tensions and memories. Bruce Dern predictably excellent"
"Nebraska - Lo-fi nostalgic hometown charmer that works well. Payne really brings it home. Will Forte, Bruce Dern both fantastic. #cannes2013"
"Alex Payne's Nebraska, a drawling, maudlin ballad of the American Depression. Sweet, sad, soft in the middle. But Dern is great #Cannes2013"
"Alexander Payne's Nebraska is a resounding return to form: an ultra lo-fi, black-and-white elegy for the American family #cannes2013"
"Nebraska (Payne): 71. 'Does he have Alzheimer's?' 'He just believes things that people tell him.' 'Oh, that's too bad.'"
"Alas, Alexander Payne's NEBRASKA -- mostly an elevation of all of Payne's condescending worst instincts -- is one of the low lights. #Cannes2013"
"I'm not emotionally stable enough for all the heartache in these Cannes films. NEBRASKA is a knockout."
"Alexander Payne's black and white Nebraska has Bruce Dern as Don Quoxote and Will Forte as Sancho Panza, with a dollop of corn syrup."
"Nebraska still has that darker edge though. Bruce Dern's father character is in a devastating decline. Stunning stuff. #cannes2013"
"Alexander Payne’s Nebraska is a piece of minor-key perfection, a Sideways-level look at family, aging, ambition and acceptance."