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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

An American film recommendation and "prizes" that aren't prizes

My wife and I rarely get excited by an American movie. They are very often spoiled by lowest-common-denominator dialogue and neat, happy endings. An exception was Nebraska. This film was alternately sad and very funny. Sad because it was about an elderly man in the early stages of dementia and funny because the dialogue was sprinkled with some glorious declarations. In particular, the elderly man's grumpy wife was a joy. We also enjoyed seeing Bob Odenkirk, who played the dodgy lawyer Saul in Breaking Bad, playing a rather different, less frenetic role.

Without giving anything away, the film is about how the main character becomes convinced that he has won a million dollars in a marketing campaign. This reminded me that some years ago my elderly mother in Australia received one of those wretched Readers' Digest "prizes". She, too, was convinced that she had won a million dollars. When I told her she hadn't won anything, she replied: "But I have, Ian, because it's got my name printed on it!" I did eventually get her to accept that having her name printed on the "prize" meant nothing and it should be binned. I fear, though, that she went to her grave some years later still wondering whether she should have ignored me and laid claim to her million dollars.

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