Monday, March 3, 2014

2014 Oscars: Nebraska (2013) - Lucid? Or Not?

[Quick Summary: A son takes his father on a road trip from Montana to Nebraska to pick up a "winning" lottery ticket.]

I thoroughly enjoyed this fast read, as well as several podcasts with this screenwriter, Robert Nelson.

Nelson stated that he deliberately left it up to the audience whether or not the Woody character is lucid, or not.

So what does that look like on the page?

One thing I noticed was that Woody acts unlike most people. 

The audience has to decide if his behavior is inappropriate, or just eccentric.

Example 1 - Woody's logic is questionable.

ex. "DAVID (reading): Mega Sweepstakes Marketing. Dad, this is a total come-on. It's one of the oldest gimmicks in the book. I didn't even know they did this anymore.

WOODY: They can't say it if it's not true.

DAVID: They're just trying to sell you magazine subscriptions.

WOODY: It says I won.

DAVID: So let's mail it in. I'll help you.

WOODY: I don't trust the mail with a million dollars."

Example 2 - Woody doesn't/can't explain his actions.

ex. "ROSS: He still thinks he 's going to Lincoln to get his money.

WOODY: Gotta get there by the 5th.

ROSS: Hey Dad, how come you didn't think of fixing the truck first or take a bus? Why'd you just start walking?

Woody looks up a moment, thinks about that, then gets back to work. David leads his brother out of the garage."

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: I liked how this script left room for the audience to make decisions.

I was a participant, rather than just a bystander.

Nebraska (2013)
by Robert W. Nelson

1 comment:

AL said...

Great post. Agreed. The best scripts leave some room for interpretation by the reader.