The controlled creativity of writer/director Alexander Payne

With his new film The Descendants on release, it’s time to look at the work to date of terrific writer/director ALEXANDER PAYNE.

I’ve enjoyed immensely the movies I’ve seen to date from the terrific writer/director ALEXANDER PAYNE. Each one seems to display controlled creativity to proceedings where he marries hilarious, sometimes brutally dark comedy, effortlessly with heart-wrenching drama.

As his new movie, The Descendants is currently in cinemas, I thought it was a good time to just take a roll-call of the great films PAYNE has made so far – even just with quotes…

Election was extraordinary – “You see, you can’t interfere with destiny, that’s why it’s destiny.”

About Schmidt was astounding – “You can’t marry him. I mean… Look at these people!”

George Clooney in Alexander Payne's latest The Descendants

George Clooney in Payne’s latest film

Sideways was stunning – No, if anyone orders Merlot, I’m leaving!!”

Now, with The Descendants, it looks as though it’ll add to his hit list. Here we see George Clooney as Honolulu lawyer Matt King whose life thrown into a tailspin when his wife is injured in a boating accident and he finds out she had been having an affair. He also realises he needs to spend more time with his two daughters Alexandra and Scottie, who are apparently both played very winningly by newcomers Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller, as the facade of his perfect island paradise life begins to fall away.

And with Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster and Beau Bridges rounding out the cast, it certainly looks like they’ll be that deft Payne mix of laughter and drama in equal measure once again. Can’t wait to see it.

So, until then, here’s a great interview with him from The Guardian on how The Descendants fits into his body of work to date…