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Woody Grant, played by an understated, unforgettable Bruce Dern, sure as hell has. Old Woody got one of those magazine scams in the mail claiming he's bagged a million bucks. "It says I won," growls Woody, with an unshakable faith in what he sees in print. All he needs to do is leave his home in Billings, Montana, and head off to the prize office in Lincoln, Nebraska.

From that outline, director Alexander Payne and first-time screenwriter Bob Nelson sculpt a story of the American character on the lost frontiers of trust and shame. Nebraska aims to investigate how those qualities went missing.

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