Night & Day — Woody’s grown son David (Will Forte) agrees to drive him. He thinks it will give him the opportunity to talk to his father in a way he’s never been able, and also to learn some things. Men from Woody’s generation didn’t discuss their feelings. He has no regrets and few recriminations. The nearly thousand-mile drive is filled with silences and not many revelations.
“Nebraska” is about family and the responsibilities that come with being part of one. It’s a road picture that establishes a strong and believable mood and stays with it. The beautiful black and white cinematography by Phedon Papamichael offers wonderful vistas. Dern gives a superb performance as the cantankerous Woody. He deserves a best actor Oscar nomination. But the Academy should also look at Forte. He’s his father’s sounding board. Forte’s acting is all about reacting, which is not an easy thing to do.
The movie is directed by Alexander Payne and written by Bob Nelson. It’s a character study, but in Woody Grant, we have quite a character.
“Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy” was a comedy hit. The spoof of pompous television anchors has a mixed bag of dialogue. Some jokes are groaners and some became part of movie lore.
The team that comprised the bulk of the earlier film’s story is back in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” Unfortunately, as with too many sequels, the legend is tarnished. In the first movie, if a gag failed, you didn’t have to wait long for its replacement. In the new offering, gags do fail, but the wait for the next joke is longer. And when those fail, the film slides off the rails.
Will Ferrell’s Ron Burgundy is still the same obnoxious, albeit popular, oaf he always was, but time often makes the popular oaf less welcome. His former news team of Brian Fontana, Champ Kind, and Brick Tamland has dispersed. Burgundy is still anchoring but he loses his job. The silver lining is that he’s active at the start of the 1980s, and 24-hour cable news is about to arrive.