Many of those bringing films to the Croisette for the Cannes Film Festival, which let’s not forget, kicks off tomorrow, are old hands there: Roman Polanski, James Gray, even Baz Luhrmann have all debuted at least one film there in the past. Alexander Payne isn’t quite a first-timer, but it’s over a decade since he was there with “About Schmidt” in 2002, so his return with his latest, “Nebraska,” is one of the most exciting moments in the festival (and the film was one of our ten most anticipated there).
Coming off his greatest commercial success with the awards-lauded “The Descendants,” Payne has switched gears, pulling away from A-listers and making a small-scale black-and-white father-and-son tale starring the unlikely duo of veteran Bruce Dern, and “SNL” star Will Forte. And with the film a little over a week from screening in Cannes, the first clip has arrived on the festival’s official site (via The Film Stage).
The two-minute excerpt introduces us to the central duo, but the focus is really on Stacy Keach, who plays a menacing old acquaintance of Dern’s character, who seems to be trying to intimidate them out of the lottery winnings they think they’ve won. Payne’s trademark prickly dialogue is firmly in place, and Keach seems to be having a whale of time, so things continue to look good on this one. The film screens at the festival on Thursday May 23rd; check back then for our review, and take a look at the clip below.