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Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Stacy Keach, Bob Odenkirk, Mary Louise Wilson, Rance Howard, Devin Ratray, Tim Driscoll

Director: Alexander Payne

Quite often boring in its arty, melancholy way - lots of time to dig those black-and-white wide open spaces of Montana and Nebraska - this mood piece, with folksy, faintly mournful background music, is also fitfully amusing and poignant, and it has a nice ending, which goes a long way towards making up for the snoozy bits along the road.

Cantankerous, alcoholic old codger Woody (Dern), forever feeling the lash of his loving wife's (Squibb) tongue, thinks he's won a million dollars; of course, he hasn't - it's one of those junk letters we all get suggesting we're entitled to vast sums - and is always leaving his home in Billings, Montana, and setting out on foot (he's lost his driving licence) for Lincoln, Nebraska, to claim his prize.

Tired of chasing and catching the old curmudgeon and ferrying him back home, younger son Davy (Forte) decides to set out on a road trip with the grizzled old-timer, as much as a bonding exercise as to claim a prize the younger man knows doesn't exist.

Unfortunately, they detour to relatives in nearby Hawthorne where Woody is soon the town celebrity, and finds relatives and old acquaintances alike badgering him for monies they reckon they're owed. One, burly Ed (Keach), even threatens the Grants bodily harm if they don't pay up.

Dern couldn't be bettered in the leading role, but the movie is one of moments - the wife's caustic soliloquy in the graveyard is hilarious - not an enthralling whole, and you may find your head nodding occasionally as you travel onwards along those dusty country highways.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Paramount. Black and white.
115 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 02 Dec 2013