Why ‘Nebraska’ should win the Best Picture Oscar

February 27, 2014

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)

Will Forte as David Grant, left, and Bruce Dern as Woody Grant in “Nebraska.” (Merie W. Wallace/

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

Related Reading:

Will Forte’s impressive turn to the dramatic

Why ‘Dallas Buyers Club’ should win the Best Picture Oscar

Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Michael O’Sullivan has worked since 1993 at The Washington Post, where he covers art, film and other forms of popular — and unpopular — culture.
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