The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Friday, November 8, 2013


Alexander Payne’s Nebraska could easily be called a repeat of his past Oscar-winning Sideways and The Descendants; the former perhaps my favorite of the two (and let’s not fail to mention About Schmidt). That’s not a dig but praise for another road trip flick that’s modestly enjoyable and definitely worth putting on your list to see this holiday season. Bruce Dern could easily win one of those early critics’ prizes – he’s already won at Cannes earlier this year. He’s had a long career and no doubt deserves recognition - Silent Running, Coming Home and even The Great Gatsby from 1974 come to mind. Dern has had his share of bad guy roles and many in the audience may even remember his past films when he played alongside Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson in that era’s crazed motorcycle or drug films. Nobody can do twisted, flawed characters like Dern. With few lines, he nails the film’s theme - touching is the best description of Nebraska so go see it or wait till it shows up on whatever venue of choice.

Writer Bob Nelson’s story unfolds as Dern’s son (Will Forte, of SNL fame) sets out to dutifully drive though the bleak northwest highways towards Nebraska to pick up a million dollars – one of those silly sweepstakes “prizes” some of us receive in the mail. This film has emotional weight even though its predictably is foreshadowed at the get go. We know its long journey will go full circle back to its beginning - Dad’s alcoholism has destroyed his mind and the son has done all he can under the bitter circumstances. The script has its share of chuckles – most of them provided by June Squibb who’s perfectly cast as the mother. And the other supporting cast members fit right in with Nelson’s script. Payne’s casting director also deserves kudos because this is how Nebraska works so well. A tapestry stitched together with great care to achieve its overall effect of grabbing our hearts and mind – any film’s best achievement.

Like The Descendants, Phedon Papamichael’s cinematography fits the film’s vast skies and open roads that stretch between Montana and Nebraska. The music has that jaunty and sad feel about it as well. Payne uses these qualities to the film’s advantage – the journey pulls us into the basic timelessness all movie lovers share. Bravo and thumps up Mr. Payne!
(Review by David Bacon)

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