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After Woody Grant (a grizzled, magnificent Bruce Dern) receives junk mail guaranteeing a million dollar prize, he is determined to travel the 850 miles from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Nebraska – on foot, if necessary – to collect his winnings, ignoring his family’s protestations. To keep him safe, and shut him up, son David (Will Forte) eventually agrees to drive him there. The two end up in Woody’s hometown of Hawthorne, unable to leave as relatives and friends gather when news of the ‘win’ gets out. David learns that there is much more to his taciturn, ornery coot of a father than he had realised.
Writer Bob Nelson provides Payne with a superb screenplay, laced with comedy and pathos, in which even the smallest character is clearly defined, and the supporting characters are often the most memorable, particularly June Squibb as Woody’s long-suffering wife. (Notes by Kevin Coyne.)
Don’t forget we now schedule weekly.
In December we are screening a short season of Bruce Dern films to coincide with this new release.