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Richard Roeper’s “Nebraska” Brings Clarity to the Complexity

In response to Richard Roeper’s video review of Nebraska on Richard

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Kim Kardashian said, “the definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple.” Or maybe it was Einstein who said that.

No matter. The idea remains the same and Richard Roeper is a living, breathing example of it. Nebraska, Alexander Payne’s new ode to growing old in the heartland of America, is a complex and nuanced film, but Roeper unpacks its many layers, reducing it to its most fundamental parts in his video review, “Nebraska Review.”

There’s an understated eloquence to his plainspoken delivery and, without condescending to the audience (or dumbing things down for the lowest common denominator), he finds satisfying ways to abridge, touching on every salient point a critic needs to hit: the cast “turns in terrific supporting work,” Will Forte is a “revelation,” Alexander Payne’s direction is “nimble,” and the script is “nomination worthy.”

If there’s a mole on this beauty queen, it’s Roeper’s sometimes stuff delivery. There’s a keen sense throughout that he’s reading off the teleprompter and any emotional punch the writing conveys gets lost in translation.

And Roeper’s work doesn’t touch your soul or make you rethink your life, but it doesn’t try to. This is reviewing for the masses and here it’s done as well as ever.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation