Haskell Wexler

NYFF 2013: Alexander Payne's 'Nebraska' begins to shed its husk

NEW YORK — Since it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last May, "Nebraska" has had a strange ride. The Alexander Payne father-son road-trip dramedy was greeted on the Croisette with an enthusiastic public screening but some mixed reviews.

But as can happen with movies at Cannes, particularly American ones, those reactions often don’t hold up. The movie drew raves in its sneak screening at the Telluride Film Festival over Labor Day weekend, and today it has its official U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival, where it will look to begin building Stateside buzz ahead of its commercial rollout from Paramount Vantage on Nov. 22.

The black-and-white film...