As a playwright and screenwriter, I enjoy playing these movie challenges. Mostly because they make me think not only about what movies I like, but why I like them.
Alexander Payne has directed about ten feature films. Six of them are instant classics. He doesn't make loud movies with explosions. Most of them are about white males going through some sort of life crisis. Women mostly play supporting roles but they are always important. And there are no superheroes.
As a matter of fact, there are rarely heroes at all. Just plain old everyday people - many of whom are from Omaha - who are trying to survive in the world. The one film he made that actually had serious special effects - Downsizing - was a hot mess. And a big flop. But there are still a few things in it that are spectacular, including a knock-out performance by Hong Chau.
Payne's movies always hook me. They fascinate me, and in the case of a few of them, make me so happy I forget to breathe.
When people talk about great directors, specifically great America directors, Payne's name is rarely mentioned. He's a quiet man, a stealth guy who flies under the radar. But the man who gave us the movies listed below cannot be ignored.
You can have your Scorseses, your Eastwoods, your Nolans. I'll take an Alexander Payne movie - about a guy driving a motor home around America, or a senile old man who's convinced himself he's won the Publisher's Clearance House sweepstakes, or an ambitious teenage girl who wants to win a school election, or a middle-aged guy just trying to find a perfect glass of wine - over shoot-outs, gangsters, and Batman any day.
#AlexanderPayne #Nebraska #TheDescendants #AboutSchmidt #Election #Sideways #CitiizenRuth
I'm posting one-sheets from the films of my favorite twenty living film directors. Along with a list of their best films. Thanks to Sasha Stone for challenging me. - 2 months ago