June Squibb as Kate Grant, Woody's wife and David's mother, is a piece of work, but she seems at the end of her rope, as Woody leaves the house time and again to wander the road on foot in pursuit of his fantasy. Woody is an alcoholic, who is now slipping into dementia. What a mouth Kate has! Since she is elderly and now seems so stressed, I cut her slack, but I'd guess she was a feisty woman from a young age and not one to hold her tongue or mince words.
Writer Bob Nelson's excellent script contains many quotable lines, both funny and sad, and I laughed out loud and was near tears a number of times. Two examples:
David Grant: Where's your family?Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael's black and white scenes of the West during the road trip are lovely, indeed. Kudos to director Alexander Payne for pulling it all together to produce a very fine film. I can't recommend the movie highly enough.
Kate Grant: Oh, they're over in the Catholic cemetery. Catholics wouldn't be caught dead around all these damn Lutherans.
David Grant: How did you and mom end up getting married?
Woody Grant: She wanted to.
David Grant: And you didn't?
Woody Grant: I figured, what the hell.
David Grant: Were you ever sorry you married her?
Woody Grant: All the time.