All the Oscar buzz is for Bruce Dern as a grizzled old coot sliding into dementia, but the most impressive performance in this poignant black-and-white comedy comes from Will Forte as the man's long-suffering son, who wearily humors his dad's conviction that he's won a million dollars on one of those sweepstakes offers that come in the mail. Their road trip from Billings, Montana, to Lincoln, Nebraska, to claim the old man's prize doesn't make a lick of sense, but it's ideal material for Alexander Payne, a director with great affection for the interstate (Sideways
, About Schmidt
). His deft comic touch is evident here in the various red-state oddballs who turn up along the way, all with designs on the old man's supposed jackpot; among the fine supporting players are Stacy Keach as the father's menacing old crony and Tim Driscoll and Devin Ratray as Forte's mouth-breathing cousins.
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Alexander Payne's comedy trails father-and-son losers on the road to Lincoln.