A quick look at this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Picture…
Synopsis: Bruce Dern and Will Forte play father and son in a bleakly beautiful, black-and-white road movie, set during a trip to collect what the old man believes to be $1 million in lottery winnings.
Total nominations: 6 (Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography)
Directed by: Alexander Payne (nominated for Best Director; third nomination)
Starring: Bruce Dern (nominated for Best Actor; second nomination), Will Forte, June Squibb (nominated for Best Supporting Actress; first nomination)
Why it should win: The best-photographed film of the year, “Nebraska” makes the empty vistas of America’s increasingly stale breadbasket look somehow majestic and melancholy at the same. It’s a movie that belongs on the walls of an art museum.
Why it won’t win: While poignant, the film is also wryly funny at times. And comedies never win.
Ann Hornaday’s review: 4 stars
“An ‘American Gothic’ for 21st-century, post-recession America.”
Box office as of Feb. 24: $16 million domestic