There’s been some confusion about the look of Alexander Payne’s upcoming drama, “Nebraska” which will be in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival later this month (fyi, if you’re headed to France, it’s playing late in the schedule.) Original reports had it pegged as shot in black and white and subsequent pieces said black and white wouldn’t be cost effective and Paramount, who was financing, forced Payne to shoot in color.
Well, behold the first official photo from the movie and yes, it’s in black and white. So what’s the deal? Well, it’ll kinda be available in both formats. Payne said back in 2011 that they shot the film in color, but it’ll be transposed into black and white in the color transfer and both options will be there. ”It’ll be black and white for theatrical, DVD and streaming. If they need a color version for their TV output deals, they will have it,” he said. That and the image above should put an end to any questions, right?
“Nebraska” centers on an aging alcoholic father 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—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, in an opportunity to bond with his father after years of separation.
Payne’s coming off “The Descendants,” a film that went on to great acclaim, with Oscar nods and box-office rewards ($177 million worldwide, pretty amazing for a talky little drama.) The script for “Nebraska” was apparently done in 2004, but Payne put it aside because he didn’t want to repeat himself.
“I had been sitting on this ‘Nebraska’ script even when I did ‘Sideways,’ ” he told USA Today. “But I didn’t want to go back to a road-trip movie right after that. I was really tired of shooting people in cars. I’m serious. It’s a drag. But after ‘Descendants,’ I came back to this story.”
“Nebraska” is already set for a November 22nd limited release, but you lucky people will be hearing about it in about two weeks from our intrepid reporters at Cannes.