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Stephen Silver’s “Nebraska” Is All Bark and Mostly No Bite

In response to Stephen Silver’s 804‑word review of Nebraska on EntertainmentTell

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Stephen Silver wants you to know to that not every human being in the state of Nebraska is a slack-jawed, slobbering moron.

He makes this abundantly clear in his review, “Movie Review: ‘Nebraska’,” a well-written work that whines a little too much.

Silver is from the midwest and damn it, you’re going to hear about it. He’s upset with Alexander Payne, director of Nebraska, for his “need to denigrate Midwestern and/or lower-class people” for “voting Republican because they’re too stupid to know any better.”

A discussion of Payne’s (and screenwriter Bob Nelson’s) treatment of his characters does fall under legitimate criticism, but the lengths to which Silver goes to decry this perceived injustice aren’t rightly justifiable, especially when it begins to overload the entire piece.

The prose is more than solid and Silver is, without question, a good critic. He breaks down the performances of the two leads with perfect precision, touches on the cinematography, and critiques the plot with the skill of a veteran.

It’s a shame, then, that one criticism dominates, throwing its weight around, crowding the rest out with its bloated carcass.

Silver does let some sensitive details slip, so more delicate readers may want to stay away from this one until they’ve seen the film.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation