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Interview: Will Forte Talks 'Nebraska,' What He Learned From Alexander Payne & Bruce Dern & Status Of 'MacGruber 2'

  • By Drew Taylor
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  • November 14, 2013 2:53 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Nebraska
There are a number of surprises nestled within Alexander Payne's warmly homespun "Nebraska." Like all of Payne's films, it dangles on the precipice between drama and comedy, this time following an elderly man (a revelatory Bruce Dern) as he travels to Nebraska to collect his winnings from a phony sweepstakes mailer he's received. Accompanying him on the journey is his son, played by Will Forte, who is both humoring him and looking for a way to connect with his emotionally distant father. And it's Forte's performance that might be the biggest, most delightful surprise in "Nebraska." This is, after all, an actor who, just a couple of years ago, waddled around on screen with a stalk of celery sticking out of his butthole. Talk about range.

Cannes: Alexander Payne May Do His Sci-Fi Film Soon; Bruce Dern Calls Him One Of 6 Directing Geniuses

  • By Rodrigo Perez
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  • May 23, 2013 5:18 PM
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  • 6 Comments
Alexander Payne, Dern, Cast, Nebraska
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.

Cannes Review: Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’ An Overfamiliar Tale Of Connections Broken & Remade

  • By Jessica Kiang
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  • May 23, 2013 6:32 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Nebraska, Bruce Dern, Will Forte
There’ve been great masses of critical laurels laid at Alexander Payne’s door over the years, some, in our eyes, more earned than others. When it really hits home, the director’s quiet humanism and wry humor can yield perceptive insights, especially into certain trademark areas of expertise: family dynamics, the vanities and follies of aging men, the reluctance to let go of old dreams. But the downside to this kind of blanket approbation is that, because we know what to look for in an Alexander Payne movie, sometimes we might kid ourselves that we find things that aren’t really there. And so, we come trundling to "Nebraska," already being buzzed about as a major player here in Cannes, and certainly not a bad film in any way, but one that failed to engage us with anything like the kind of witty perceptiveness we found in, for example, “Sideways,” to reference the other two-man road trip-style film of Payne’s.

Watch: First Clip Arrives From Alexander Payne's Cannes Entry 'Nebraska'

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • May 14, 2013 2:02 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Nebraska, Bruce Dern, Will Forte
Many of those bringing films to the Croisette for the Cannes Film Festival, which let's not forget, kicks off tomorrow, are old hands there: Roman Polanski, James Gray, even Baz Luhrmann have all debuted at least one film there in the past. Alexander Payne isn't quite a first-time, but it's over a decade since he was there with "About Schmidt" in 2002, so his return with his latest, "Nebraska," is one of the most exciting moments in the festival (and the film was one of our ten most anticipated there).

'Only God Forgives,' 'Nebraska,' 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' 'The Past' & More Lead Official Selection For 2013 Cannes Film Festival

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • April 18, 2013 5:56 AM
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  • 26 Comments
As usual, sifting the actual fact from the speculation when it comes to the line-up of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival has been a little tricky. We know the opener -- Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," the closer -- "Zulu," with Forest Whitaker and Orlando Bloom, and as of yesterday, the Un Certain Regard headliner, in the shape of Sofia Coppola's "Bling Ring."

The Amazing Race: Which Writers Could Adapt & Survive Their Way To An Oscar Nod?

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • October 21, 2011 7:04 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Considering they spend the rest of their time ignored, humiliated, rewritten and robbed of credit, it's only fair that screenwriters get two categories at the Academy Awards, effectively doubling their chances of being nominated. It's also their best chance of gaining real cachet; witness the careers of recent winners Diablo Cody and Aaron Sorkin, both celebrities in their own right now, and both planning directorial debuts.

Alexander Payne Calls 'Downsizing' His "Epic Masterpiece"; Says 'Nebraska' Could Be In Color For TV

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • October 18, 2011 7:26 AM
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  • 0 Comments
But Says 'Downsizing' May Have To Wait Two More FilmsNot only is Alexander Payne back with his first feature film in seven years, "The Descendants," he's once again going to be one of the major players of the awards season. Moreover, he doesn't intend for there be another lengthy gap between pictures. He's already putting the pieces together for his low budget, father/son road trip drama "Nebraska." Granted, his aim to deliver the film to theaters in black-and-white means that Paramount is only giving him $10 million to play with, and greenlighting the film will be contingent upon getting a major star to sign on (Gene Hackman, Robert Forster, Jack Nicholson and Robert Duvall are some of the candidates being tossed around). However, as he begins to navigate the press gauntlet in the run up to "The Descendants," Payne spoke with Thompson On Hollywood and revealed that his long absence from movie screens was due to the "time suck" of his long gestating project "Downsizing" -- something he still hopes to make -- and that he's willing to play ball with the studio and deliver a color cut of "Nebraska," if required, for television.

NYFF: George Clooney & Alexander Payne Discuss The Notions Of Forgiveness In ‘The Descendants'

  • By The Playlist
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  • October 17, 2011 2:58 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Judy Greer, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster & The Entire Cast Of Payne’s New Dramedy Talk Film At New York Film FestivalThe New York Film Festival went out with a bang on its last day, Sunday, October 16. Not only did George Clooney make a surprise visit to the press conference of Alexander Payne’s new comedic drama, "The Descendants,” but the entire cast came out to support the film including two newcomer leads, Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller, but also Robert Forster, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard and Nick Krause.

Alexander Payne Trying To Lure Gene Hackman Out Of Retirement For 'Nebraska'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • October 12, 2011 1:30 AM
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  • 3 Comments
Robert Forster, Jack Nicholson, Robert Duvall All Rumored Candidates; Film Will Be Shot In 'Black & White'Earlier this year, we revealed that Alexander Payne would be following up "The Descendants," which was only in post-production at the time, with his gestating father-son road-trip story "Nebraska," with Casey Affleck and Robert Forster loosely being eyed for the leading roles (wishlist stage essentially). Little had been heard about the project since then, but now that the George Clooney-led 'Descendants' gears up to hit theaters after impressing audiences and critics during recent festival appearances, it appears that Payne is getting "Nebraska" into motion.

George Clooney Needs Parenting Help In A New Clip From Alexander Payne's 'The Descendants'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • September 14, 2011 1:30 AM
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  • 2 Comments
If the reviews out of Telluride and Toronto are anything to go by, and they usually are, Alexander Payne and George Clooney may very well need to book an appointment with their respective tailors for sometime mid-February.

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