Tag Archives: Alexander Payne


WE ARE MEANT FOR SOMETHING BIGGER.  In the near future, scientists find a way to shrink people down to five inches; this ”downsizing” becomes an environmentally friendly, even luxurious, option for a married couple in Omaha (Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig). Alexander Payne worked on this idea for many years before it finally became a movie, … Continue reading Downsizing

Trespassing Bergman

Edited together (with partly new material) from a documentary series, this film examines (in chronological order) the career and films of Ingmar Bergman through the eyes of numerous prominent filmmakers and actors who have been more or less touched by the Master’s work. Some of them also visit the stark island in Sweden where Bergman … Continue reading Trespassing Bergman

The Descendants: Trouble in Paradise

In a recent interview, Alexander Payne said that he’s only made minor films and that he’s still hoping to make a really good one someday. Well, considering his output (five films, all of them deserving three-and-a-half to five-star ratings), he’d better deliver one hell of a classic masterpiece in the future. The Descendants, his first movie … Continue reading The Descendants: Trouble in Paradise

Citizen Ruth

LIFE, LIBERTY, MONEY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. SHE’S GOTTA HAVE IT. Ruth Stoops (Laura Dern), a glue sniffer, finds herself pregnant; suddenly, both pro-life and pro-choice groups make her the center of attention. Director Alexander Payne’s first film tackles the red-hot abortion issue but refuses to take sides. Viewers are supposed to identify with … Continue reading Citizen Ruth


READING. WRITING. REVENGE.  Good high school movies don’t come easily, so catch this one. Most of its themes feel rather adult, not least the political part of the story, with Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) running unopposed for class president and clashing with teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) who makes sure that she is challenged. Politics … Continue reading Election

Sideways: Hold the Merlot, Please

IN SEARCH OF WINE. IN SEARCH OF WOMEN. IN SEARCH OF THEMSELVES. Director Alexander Payne is on to something here. He has discovered that it is when we travel that we find the time to ponder our lives, meet new people, dare to do things that ordinarily might seem a little scary, and maybe even … Continue reading Sideways: Hold the Merlot, Please