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Damon Wise Takes Readers on a Ride to AverageTown in “Nebraska”

In response to Damon Wise’s 689‑word review of Nebraska on Empire Magazine

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Damon Wise is in firm control of the written word in “Nebraska,” however fans of D. W. may groan over the lack of analysis. The work is a summary-observation, “it’s worth noting” review.

Nebraska begins with an odd statement, in which Wise states that Payne “is starting to show his hand as a mainstream American auteur.” Payners worldwide will certainly scream out “Oscars?” as a way to acknowledge that the director has already arrived.

The majority of Nebraska is sophisticated summary, which is quite disappointing. Wise merely acknowledges facts that any Joe Schmo could point out if they have seen the flick. It’s shot in black and white, the story is seen through David’s eyes…the critic describes the action of the film without going all-in on critique.

Wise offers the essentials in Nebraska, but the thin commentary on the actors’ performance brings the work down…all the way down to AverageTown, and Wise is the Mayor.

The main players are referenced at the end of the Nebraska, but only with one or two sentences, which is the classic technique of an average review.

Will Forte, the co-star, “plays a very fine straight man,” which can be found in almost every review. The lead, Bruce Dern (who won Best Actor at Cannes), is awarded one sentence. A late reference to Tokyo Story fails to keep the reader awake. Hashtag snoozer. #snoozer

Nebraska is descriptive review that fails to offer more than the basics.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation