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Kristy Puchko’s “Nebraska Is Bittersweet” Is a Moving Character Study

In response to Kristy Puchko’s 578‑word review of Nebraska on

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Kristy Puchko’s “NYFF Review: Alexander Payne’s Nebraska Is Bittersweet and Deeply Funny” is a critique of the tale of a father and son, their journey, and the people who surround them on that journey. It’s a modest, unassuming review that focuses on those characters without losing sight of the big picture.

Puchko eschews the lengthier, self-indulgent style of many Nebraska reviews, preferring instead to keep her review a modest length. She avoids rambling digressions of critical show-offiness, like listing out all the past credits of the director and cast. After all, anyone with an Internet connection can do that for herself. Instead, she only makes brief mention of past work when it is relevant to her critique.

The review gets a little spoilery at one point when she mentions a plot development that readers might find they would have preferred to learn on their own, so be warned. It doesn’t give away the ending or anything, though, so that warning is more for purists who want to see the movie knowing as little of its plot as possible.

With a more artistic-leaning, awards-focused film like Nebraska, it is easy for a reviewer to go overboard and indulge in pretension. Puchko avoids that pitfall with Nebraska is Bittersweet, and the end result is an unassuming but solid review.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation