Cannes 2013: First Official Look at Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’


Bruce Dern and Will Forte in Nebraska

Bruce Dern and Will Forte in Nebraska
Photo: Paramount Vantage

USA Today has premiered the above first look at Alexander Payne‘s new film Nebraska, which will have its world premiere at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival before it hits theaters later this year on November 22.

Nebraska follows an aging alcoholic father (Bruce Dern) who thinks he’s won a million dollar Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes prize. He is unbowed when his family tries to dissuade him from making the long trip from Montana to Nebraska to cash in his winnings. So his estranged 20-something son (Will Forte) — who doesn’t believe the ticket is a winner — is forced to go along with him for the ride to keep him out of trouble, providing an opportunity to bond with his father after years of separation.

Written by Bob Nelson, the film is a road trip narrative that took the production to places such as Nebraska (obviously) to Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota.

“It’s shot literally where everything would happen. It’s always (important) in my films to have an accurate sense of place,” Payne told USA Today. “Films, like wars, require a lot of logistical planning. The trip was planned very well.”

As for the unlikely casting of Forte, Payne tells the site, “Never in a million years would I have thought of him, but I believed him in his audition. And there’s an appealing familiarity about him. It’s as though you went to high school with him.”

I’ll be covering the Cannes Film Festival, which begins on May 15. For all my coverage of this year’s (and previous years) festival so far click here and for the festival line-up click here.