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Matt Brunson’s “‘Nebraska’: 70s Revival” Is Poetry on the Page

In response to Matt Brunson’s 614‑word review of Nebraska on Creative Loafing

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Matt Brunson’s “‘Nebraska’: 70s Revival” is more elegiac appreciation of its lead actor than movie review.

Longtime actor Bruce Dern gets a swell write-up in Matt Brunson’s review. Readers unfamiliar with Dern’s oeuvre receive the highlights and a piece trivia: Answer: “He starred in Alfred Hitchcock’s last film; Question: Who is Bruce Dern? I’ll take Potent Potables for 200, Alex.”

Dern’s deeply lined face, scraggly beard, and sad eyes greet viewers commencing on the literary journey that is Brunson’s review. This image gels nicely with the bittersweet tone of the piece, and the review builds to a resonant poetic send-off that recedes from the reader like an aimless breeze across the wide open prairie.

Brunson focuses less on questions of plot, performances, and dialogue and more on issues like the universal applicability of the film’s underlying themes, the question of its authenticity to the human experience, and its fairness to its characters.

There isn’t much analysis, per se, but readers won’t mind. Indeed, Brunson’s review is something to let wash over you, something to not break apart and analyze, but rather something you leave whole, something you attune yourself to.

Think on Brunson’s points if you want to—or don’t. The vast river of humanity and its artistic endeavor will continue to flow through time regardless.    

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