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Todd Gilchrist’s “Small-Town” Is Sweet, Sweet Critique for the Soul

In response to Todd Gilchrist’s 665‑word review of Nebraska on The Wrap

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Todd Gilchrist balances between setting and character in his poetic and poignant creation “Nebraska Review: Bruce Dern, Alexander Payne Deliver Nuanced Portrait of Small-Town Life.”

The deeply moving work of Gilchrist is a special moment in the artist’s career. He has found a way to transcend general critique and offer the reader something much more special.

Small-Town is a dream-like tale of the Midwest in which the reader may feel like they are floating above the plains of Nebraska. “Oh, hey—look at ol’ Woody down there” the reader may say to themselves. Gilchrist’s writing is that good, and future generations will refer to the style as “The TGIG Technique.”

Small-Town is essential reading because of Gilchrist’s devotion to character analysis and the setting in which the characters travel. The critique doesn’t offer a deep reflection on the main players, but the overall writing paints a beautiful picture of what director Alexander Payne has accomplished with his film.

The overall writing of Small-Town is exceptional, but Gilchrist takes it to another level in the final paragraph. Phrasing like “Nebraska sets its goalposts at poignancy rather than profundity” will leave a mark on the coldest of souls, and some might even hit the road in search of their own millions that may or may not exist.

Small-Town features the brilliant writing of Todd Gilchrist, which understands how to convey the essence of the film rather than describing the basics.    

Quality of Writing Quality of Argument Spoiler Avoidance Presentation