One of the surprise inclusions in this year's Cannes Film Festival lineup, Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," is a low-key movie that could be making some big waves. And certainly, Paramount is hoping they've got a contender on their hands.
The studio has slated "Nebraska" for a November 22nd limited release, putting it right into the heart of Oscar season. Led by the unlikely duo of Bruce Dern and Will Forte, the story follows an aging, booze-addled father (Dern) who makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son (Forte) in order to claim a million dollar Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes prize. Bob Odenkirk, Stacy Keach and Devin Ratray round out the cast. And certainly, Payne is an awards season force, with every film since "Election" getting nominations of some kind, so "Nebraska" is one that prognosticators will be putting on the predictions lists early in the game. But of course, how the movie is received at Cannes will be a big measure of how it might play out at the end of the year.
"Nebraska" will be released in black-and-white, but was shot on color stock to appease the studio who wanted something more saleable for cable networks and other non-theatrical avenues. So mark this one down, and avoid the "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" crowd that weekend by seeing this instead. [Deadline]