The other characters are the same as the spectrum of life. As soon as the family finds out that Woody won a million dollars, some members of the family suddenly came up with old debts that they felt Woody owed them. The twin nephews stole Woody’s flier. They now get into a fight with Woody’s sons over the million dollars. It’s Kay, straight forward and direct, who sets all straight by telling them there is no money and to ‘f–k off.’ Ed, Woody’s old friend and partner at one time, comes to David with an $800 debt, later with a $10,000 debt. He even threatens David that if he doesn’t give him the money, he’ll . . .
But that’s not the real finale. I wonder how many people caught on to the real story in Nebraska. At least I think it’s the real story. The whole story was told in about three sentences. Ed tells David that Woody was going to leave his mother and older brother for the ‘half breed.’ We don’t know what race the woman was, but she had quite an impact in Woody’s life, the fact that he was ready to leave his wife and child for her. What does this all mean? Woody told David that love had nothing to do with his relationship with his mother. Yet, his relationship with the ‘half breed’ was one of love. A woman of another culture was able to make Woody fall in love for the first time in his life. His love was so great that he was going to leave Kay and his son for that woman without a second thought. For once, Woody felt deeply for a woman. He came alive for a woman. He wanted to make a life with her. But his friend Ed talked him out of it, so Woody remained with a wife he did not love. He made them responsible for not being able to live a life with the ‘half breed.’ Woody made his wife and children pay for taking him away from the other woman by withdrawing his attention from them. His older son said it, “He’s never given a shit about us.” All the rest of his life with his wife and children, Woody was grieving the loss of the other woman. It is not until he takes this journey with David that he starts waking up to the fact that he has a fine family he has ignored for many years. I saw a new beginning between Woody and his sons. I don’t know if the relationship between Woody and Kay would ever mend, but there is always hope.
One thing did bother me. Woody is supposed to have Dementia or Alzheimer, and those people are doing whatever he tells them to do. He wants to take a trip to Jackson to collect his million dollars, a fantasy. David knows that Woody didn’t win the million dollars, and he takes him. Woody keeps running away. In the movie, they keep finding him. A lot of times, people who suffer such illnesses are not found or when they’re found, they’re hurt or dead. It bothered me that they had not done anything to keep Woody safe. At the end of the movie, David trades his perfectly new car for a used truck to keep up with Woody’s fantasy of owning a truck. He even puts the truck under Woody’s name, but Woody has no license to drive. It’s been canceled. So who’s going to drive the truck? David. He bought a compressor for Woody which he did not need. Though it’s touching, it serves no purpose. When they get home, more than likely Kay will put it out. The most frightening thing is at the end. They get to a street where all of Woody’s friends will see him, and David lets an Alzheimer patient drive. He says that there’s nothing on the street ahead. To make matters worse, Woody tells David to hide under the dashboard so his friends can’t see him and will think he’s driving alone. What is incredible, David does that. He hides under the dashboard while his dad who hasn’t driven in while takes over the driving of the truck. Do you realize what can happen in just a few feet away unexpectedly? Of course you don’t. No one does. Yet Woody drives down the street with his cap with the word ‘winner’ on it and his friends see him do it. The story is beautiful, but one can’t help but see how some of the scenes told have been romanticized. I proved that to my husband. We were at a mall parking lot. He was driving out a long stretch to the street. In a matter of seconds, a man crossed in front of him. He slammed on the brakes and stopped. I told him that the stretch looked clear, but the variables are unknown and unexplainable. The man who crossed in front of our car never looked up. He continued toward his car. Had Woody been driving with David under the dashboard, he would have struck the man because he would not have had the reflexes sharp enough to make the fast move required to stop the car. I found it terribly irresponsible of David to allow a sick man with no license or practice drive a car and all to complete Woody’s fantasy, his desire.
Nonetheless, I highly recommend the movie ‘Nebraska’ as an outstanding movie about real people with all their foibles and goodness in them. It was great to watch.