Alexander Payne

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Matt Damon To Star In Alexander Payne's Epic Masterpiece, 'Downsizing'


Matt Damon Alexander Payne

Downsizing remains one of the great unmade movies in Hollywood. Alexander Payne, the acclaimed director behind Sideways, About Schmidt and The Descendants, has been working on the movie for over 10 years, describing it as "a large canvas, science-fiction social satire" and "an epic masterpiece".

Matt DamonMatt Damon will play the lead in Alexander Payne's Downsizing

The movie was originally set to star Paul Giamatti and Reese Witherspoon as an impoverished married couple who decide to shrink themselves. She pulls out of the deal after her husband has already undergone the procedure. Sacha Baron Cohen has joined the cast as a tiny Spaniard though Downsizing was shelved in favour of The Descendants and Nebraska. 

Continue reading: Matt Damon To Star In Alexander Payne's Epic Masterpiece, 'Downsizing'

Oscars 2014: 5 Reasons Why Alfonso Cuaron Will Win Best Director For 'Gravity'


Alfonso Cuaron Alexander Payne David O Russell

As we edge closer and closer to The Oscars on March 2, prices on the eventual winners are fluctuating less. Some favorites have settled: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine and Alfonso Cuaron in the Best Director category for Gravity. And we can think of 5 good reasons why the bookies have the latter nailed on.

GravityAlfonso Cuaron's Gravity is a technical masterpiece

1 - If Ang Lee’s Life of Pi win taught us anything…

Continue reading: Oscars 2014: 5 Reasons Why Alfonso Cuaron Will Win Best Director For 'Gravity'

Alexander Payne - AFI Fest 2013 Nebraska Gala Screening - Hollywood, California, United States - Monday 11th November 2013

Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne - ****File Photo** * 12 YEARS A SLAVE DOMINATES Independent Spirit Awards NOMINATIONS Critically-acclaimed drama 12 YEARS A SLAVE looks set to dominate the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards after landing seven nominations. The period movie, about a free black man from New York who is abducted and sold into slavery, has landed filmmaker Steve McQueen a nod for Best Director, while Chiwetel Ejiofor is shortlisted for Best Male Lead, and Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o will compete in the supporting actor and actress categories, respectively. 12 Years A Slave has also scored nods for screenplay and cinematography, and the film will also be up against All Is Lost, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska for the Best Feature title. Father-and-son movie Nebraska is another multiple nominee, earning five mentions - Alexander Payne is up for Best Director, alongside McQueen, J.C. Chandor for All Is Lost, Jeff Nichols for Mud and Shane Carruth for Upstream Color; and Bruce Dern will battle for Best Male Lead, against Ejiofor, Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), Robert Redford (All Is Lost) and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club). Meanwhile, the Best Female Lead contenders include Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Julie Delpy for Before Midnight, and Shailene Woodley for her role in The Spectacular Now. Among the other notable nominations: James Gandolfini has been shortlisted posthumously for Best Supporting Male for his performance in his last film, romantic comedy Enough Said, and the Best First Screenplay category features Lake Bell for In A World and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Don Jon. Jeff Nichols' Mud will receive the Robert Altman Award, which recognises the director, casting director and ensemble cast of a movie. To be eligible for an Independent Spirit nod, all films must have been made for less than 0 million (£13.3 million). Movies must have either screened at a major film festival, including Sundance, - London, United Kingdom - Friday 11th October 2013

Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne - ****File Photo** * 12 YEARS A SLAVE DOMINATES Independent Spirit Awards NOMINATIONS Critically-acclaimed drama 12 YEARS A SLAVE looks set to dominate the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards after landing seven nominations. The period movie, about a free black man from New York who is abducted and sold into slavery, has landed filmmaker Steve McQueen a nod for Best Director, while Chiwetel Ejiofor is shortlisted for Best Male Lead, and Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o will compete in the supporting actor and actress categories, respectively. 12 Years A Slave has also scored nods for screenplay and cinematography, and the film will also be up against All Is Lost, Frances Ha, Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska for the Best Feature title. Father-and-son movie Nebraska is another multiple nominee, earning five mentions - Alexander Payne is up for Best Director, alongside McQueen, J.C. Chandor for All Is Lost, Jeff Nichols for Mud and Shane Carruth for Upstream Color; and Bruce Dern will battle for Best Male Lead, against Ejiofor, Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), Robert Redford (All Is Lost) and Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club). Meanwhile, the Best Female Lead contenders include Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Julie Delpy for Before Midnight, and Shailene Woodley for her role in The Spectacular Now. Among the other notable nominations: James Gandolfini has been shortlisted posthumously for Best Supporting Male for his performance in his last film, romantic comedy Enough Said, and the Best First Screenplay category features Lake Bell for In A World and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for Don Jon. Jeff Nichols' Mud will receive the Robert Altman Award, which recognises the director, casting director and ensemble cast of a movie. To be eligible for an Independent Spirit nod, all films must have been made for less than 0 million (£13.3 million). Movies must have either screened at a major film festival, including Sundance, - Hollywood, California, United States - Thursday 14th November 2013

Alexander Payne

Ted Hope, Susannah Greason Robbins and Alexander Payne - The San Francisco Film Society presents their first annual Fall Celebration, which seeks to honor creativity, innovation, collaboration and inspiration in cinema. This exclusive fundraising event marks the Film Society's entry into the national fall awards season, with proceeds benefitting SFFS year-round programs in exhibition, education and filmmaker services. - San Francisco, California, United States - Thursday 14th November 2013

Ted Hope, Susannah Greason Robbins and Alexander Payne
Ted Hope and Vanessa Hope
Alexander Payne, Ted Hope, Michele Turnure-salleo, Spike Jonze and Jehane Noujaim
Susannah Greason Robbins, Ted Hope and Sid Ganis
Ted Hope
Ted Hope

Alexander Payne - Nebraska Screening at AFI Fest - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 12th November 2013

Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne
Alexander Payne

A Week In Movies: Slavery Drama Wins In Toronto, Gordon-Levitt Makes Filmmaking Debut, Diana Hits UK


Steve McQueen Michael Fassbender Chiwetel Ejiofor Brad Pitt Benedict Cumberbatch Joseph Gordon-Levitt Scarlett Johansson Naomi Watts Nicole Kidman Alexander Payne Bruce Dern Robert De Niro Sylvester Stallone Emily Browning

12 years a slave

As the Toronto Film Festival wrapped up earlier this week, 12 Years a Slave, the new film from Steve McQueen (Shame), took home the top prize, which makes it the frontrunner for Oscar nominations. It stars Michael Fassbender, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt and Benedict Cumberbatch. Read more about the win here.

One of the festival's most talked-about films was Don Jon, the writing-directing debut of actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays a womanising gym-obsessive who meets his match in the feisty Scarlett Johansson. Both actors were on hand for the film's gala New York premiere this week. Here's a video of Scarlett Johansson at the event and in this video you can see director/actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt at the event.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Slavery Drama Wins In Toronto, Gordon-Levitt Makes Filmmaking Debut, Diana Hits UK

Lesbian Love Story Beats Coen Brothers To Palme D'Or At Cannes


Cannes Film Festival Steven Spielberg Adele Exarchopoulos Lea Seydoux Alexander Payne Berenice Bejo Coen Brothers

An intimate lesbian love story by Abdellatif Kechiche won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival, the prestigious Palme d'Or on Sunday. La Vie d'Adele - Chapitre 1 & 2 (Blue is the Warmest Colour) was chosen by a jury headed by Steven Spielberg as the best movie showing in competition, despite some concerns about its length (3 hours) and content, specifically its explicit sex scenes.

According to Reuters, Spielberg said the award should be shared between Kechiche and his two lead actresses Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, such was the level of their performances in the film.  "I think it will get a lot of play ... I think this film carries a very strong message, a very positive message," Spielberg told journalists. "It was the perfect choice between those two actresses and this incredible very sensitive and observant filmmaker." Cannes director Thierry Fremaux said the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators who marched in Paris this week to protest the country's legalization of same-sex marriage should go watch Blue Is The Warmest Colour. "Everyone who is against same-sex marriage or love between two people of the same sex must see the film," he said.

Tunisian-born actor Kechiche made his directorial debut in 2000. He was virtually speechless upon accepting the award, dedicating it to the youth of France and Tunisia who "wanted only to live, speak and love freely" during the Arab spring. 

Continue reading: Lesbian Love Story Beats Coen Brothers To Palme D'Or At Cannes

'The Past' Emerges As Early Favourite For Palme D'Or At Cannes Film Festival


Berenice Bejo Tahar Rahim Alexander Payne Coen Brothers

Iranian Oscar-winner Asghar Farhadi, who made his name in the industry with the incredible A Seperation, is potentially sitting on the Palme d'Or after his Paris-set tale 'The Past' drew boisterous applause and strong reviews following its screening at the Cannes Film Festival this week. The film boasts The Artist's Berenice Bejo in the lead role as a Parisian mother living in the multicultural suburbs who asks her estranged husband to return from Tehran to finalise their divorce.

In the meantime, Marie invites her new boyfriend - played by Tahar Rahim of the superb A Prophet - to move in with her and her two daughters from another past relationship. Unsurprisingly, her husband returns from Tehran and his arrival upsets the balance of the house. The discussion amongst critics on Twitter appears to suggest that 'The Past' will undoubtedly be amongst the favourites when the awards are handing out by jury president Steven Spielberg on May 26. Bejo was singled out for particular praise for her stunning performance and the actress concedes that he had plenty of offers from Hollywood after The Artist won big at Oscars, choosing instead to work with the one of "the world's best directors" in Farhadi.

Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian wrote of the new movie, "It is an intricate and often brilliant drama, with restrained and intelligent performances; there is an elegantly patterned mosaic of detail, unexpected plot turns, suspenseful twists and revelations." Deborah Young of the Hollywood Reporter was equally enamoured with the movie, writing, "Farhadi's nearly flawless screenplay foregoes the explosive shocks that electrified Fireworks Wednesday and About Elly and drove A Separation on to win the Best Foreign Language Oscar. The Past plays like a low-key adagio in the hands of a masterful pianist, who knows how to give every note it's just nuance and how every single phrase affects all the rest." 

Continue reading: 'The Past' Emerges As Early Favourite For Palme D'Or At Cannes Film Festival

'The Great Gatsby' Opening Cannes Doesn't Seem Like Such A Good Idea Anymore


Cannes Film Festival Steven Spielberg Leonardo Dicaprio Michael Douglas Coen Brothers James Gray Joaquin Phoenix Alexander Payne

The 2013 Cannes Film Festival will open on Wednesday (May 15, 2013) with Baz Luhrmann's 3-D version of The Great Gatsby, a throwback to the roaring twenties adapted from F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic book of the same name. The announcement caused unrest earlier in the year given that Gatsby would already have been released in the U.S by the time Cannes came round (it was released last week) though there's a couple of other things to worry about.

The Great Gatsby opened in the United States to fairly lacklustre reviews, dampening the buzz surrounding the start of the 12 day Cannes Film Festival. The critics have already seen it. The critics didn't like it very much. "This dreadful film even derogates the artistry of Fitzgerald, who wrote "The Great Gatsby" while living on Long Island and in Europe," said the Wall Street Journal. It holds a score of 48% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

Nevertheless, champagne bottles will be popped, deals will be made and Harvey Weinstein will be wandering around deciding which movie to snap up as his next Oscar winner at this year's festival. Stars expected to attend include Michael Douglas, Matt Damon, Ryan Gosling, Emma Watson and the legendary Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachan. "This is the hardest 10 days of the year for me. There are always three or four movies that are exceptional and you have to find them so it is a detective job," said Tom Bernard, co-president and co-founder of Sony Pictures Classics.

Continue reading: 'The Great Gatsby' Opening Cannes Doesn't Seem Like Such A Good Idea Anymore

The Descendants Review


Extraordinary
As with Sideways and About Schmidt, Payne finds clever ways to blend sharp comedy and warm drama to create a seriously involving and entertaining film.

And Clooney has never had a role that was quite as emotionally resonant as this.

In sunny Hawaii, Matt (Clooney) has coasted through marriage and parenthood, focussing on his career and managing the estate of his family, which is descended from Hawaiian royalty. But now his wife (Patti Hastie) is in a coma, and he has to take responsibility for his free-spirited daughters, 10-year-old Scottie (Miller) and 17-year-old Alexandra (Woodley). Meanwhile, his cousins want to sell off a gorgeous tract of ancestral land in Kauai. Amid all of this, Matt finds out that his wife isn't going to wake up, and also that she had been having an affair.

Continue reading: The Descendants Review

I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry Review


Bad
We were barely getting over 300, and now this: a movie about two straight firemen who pretend to be gay to ensure that one's life insurance policy won't go to spit if he should die. This all sounds nice on paper, but the execution could be lightly described as flippin' horrendous. While twits are raging against John Travolta slipping into a fat suit to replace Divine in Hairspray, they're missing out on Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and a veritable who's-who of cameo stars sinking in an overblown, patently-ridiculous monolith of fag jokes and gay stereotypes. In I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Director Dennis Dugan has moved quickly from sentimental spoon-feeding into the realm of absolute absurdity.

So, one day Chuck Levine (Sandler) and Larry Valentine (James) decide to get hitched. The reason is simple: Larry doesn't want to fill-out an insurance form, so he gets Chuck to pose as his "life partner," thus allowing any pension money to go directly to Larry's two kids, a tomboy daughter and a showtune-singing son. Larry still can't get over his saintly wife's death and Chuck has more than likely contracted more STDs than the leather upholstery in Tommy Lee's Jaguar; they're a match made in heaven.

Continue reading: I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry Review

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession Review


Very Good
Z Channel was one of the first pay cable stations ever. It's "magnificent obsession" was movies, as Z Channel became known for being the definitive place to go for those obsessed with film -- snobs, cineastes, and plain old cinema junkies.

And then its programming chief killed his wife and himself.

Continue reading: Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession Review

The Cutting Edge: The Magic Of Movie Editing Review


Very Good
While "magic" may be a little strong, The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing is a surprisingly interesting film. If you're a filmmaker or an aspiring critic, it may well be essential viewing.

This documentary is precisely what it's title purports to be, an in-depth and instructive look at movie editing that literally spans 100 years of film history, from The Great Train Robbery to Cold Mountain. Through interviews with a copious number of directors and editors, The Cutting Edge covers everything from basic editing techniques like the matching of cuts to modern editing theory as inspired by MTV and The Matrix. The film goes into extreme detail in parts, like when we get to see James Cameron's trick of removing one frame per second out of Terminator 2 to give it more momentum and realism. It's all a little bit insidery and self-congratulatory, but the movie works far more often than not. Any film buff will find it hard not to like.

Continue reading: The Cutting Edge: The Magic Of Movie Editing Review

Alexander Payne

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Alexander Payne

Date of birth

10th February, 1961

Occupation

Filmmaker

Sex

Male

Height

1.78


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Alexander Payne Movies

Nebraska Trailer

Nebraska Trailer

Woody Grant is an alcohol-swigging old man who's never had much in the way of...

The Descendants Movie Review

The Descendants Movie Review

As with Sideways and About Schmidt, Payne finds clever ways to blend sharp comedy and...

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The Descendants Trailer

The Descendants Trailer

Matt King is a Hawaiian land baron who has never had time for his two...

Cedar Rapids Movie Review

Cedar Rapids Movie Review

This goofy fish-out-of-water comedy is deeply endearing. As it follows its central character on a...

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King of California Movie Review

King of California Movie Review

It's easy to see what attracted Michael Douglas to the role of Charlie in writer-director...

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry Movie Review

I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry Movie Review

We were barely getting over 300, and now this: a movie about two straight firemen...

Paris, Je T'aime Movie Review

Paris, Je T'aime Movie Review

One would like to think that there at least a few other cities in the...

Election (1999) Movie Review

Election (1999) Movie Review

Talk about redemption. After starring in some of favorite movies ever, Matthew Broderick had...

Jurassic Park III Movie Review

Jurassic Park III Movie Review

Dinosaurs!While the first Jurassic Park was mediocre and the second film god-awful, Jurassic Park III...

About Schmidt Movie Review

About Schmidt Movie Review

See Jack brood. See Jack rebelliously piss standing up (no, no frontal nudity). See Jack...

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession Movie Review

Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession Movie Review

Z Channel was one of the first pay cable stations ever. It's "magnificent obsession" was...

Sideways Movie Review

Sideways Movie Review

Miles (Paul Giamatti) is the most self-aware lead character yet in an Alexander Payne film,...

Election Movie Review

Election Movie Review

Talk about redemption. After starring in some of favorite movies ever, Matthew Broderick had...

Citizen Ruth Movie Review

Citizen Ruth Movie Review

It's been a while since I've anticipated a film this greatly and been let down...

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