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Best Alexander Payne Movies, Ranked

In the course of Alexander PayneIn his successful career, he has earned seven Academy Award nominations, two of which he won for Best Screenplay for his films sideways and The descendants† Payne handles every film he takes on with precision, delivering memorable and original stories. His movies usually have a great mix of comedy and drama that can be re-watched quite easily. At the same time, Payne has collaborated with some of the best actors in Hollywood, including Matt Damon, Laura Dern, George Clooney and more. He tells honest stories about navigating love, life and friendship. Payne has a pure talent when it comes to screenwriting and his directing style is authentic and unique to him.

Payne was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and studied Spanish and History at Stanford University. He then attended UCLA Film School, where he EWhis graduation film, Martin’s passion, landed him a deal with Universal Pictures. His first feature film was a comedy titled citizen Ruth, starring Laura Dern. He received wide recognition for his sequel film, elections, a satire on American politics. Payne has continued to make great films, and according to the coverwill he reunite with Paul Giamatti for his upcoming project, the remains† Before that comes out, let’s take a look at Payne’s entire filmography, arranged.

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7 shrink

although shrink was made on a big budget, with an A-list cast, it is considered one of the weaker films of Payne’s career. That said, it’s still a highly original story about a new technology that can shrink people so they can live in a miniature community for a reasonable price. The film uses several thought-provoking themes, including class structure and environmental awareness. shrink has a lot of comedy, as well as drama, and Matt Damon and the rest of the cast deliver fine performances.


6 citizen Ruth

citizen Ruth was Payne’s breakout movie with a spectacular performance by Laura Dern. The film follows Ruth Stoops (Dern), who becomes entangled in an abortion debate after becoming pregnant. At the same time, Dern gives an honest picture of addiction. It’s a fascinating look at politics and abortion rights with a great cast, led by the very talented Dern. Payne proved with citizen Ruth that he had a pure talent for telling dark, thought-provoking stories.

5 Election

Election brings the world of politics to a high school in Nebraska. The film centers on a high school teacher, Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick), who becomes overly involved in a high school election between two very different students. Reese Witherspoon gives a fantastic performance as the overjoyed Tracy Flick, proving her talents from an early age. The film is full of humor, political themes and original editing. It is a very entertaining film that can be re-watched several times.


4 Nebraska

Payne returns to his Nebraska roots with his critically acclaimed film Nebraska, with one of Bruce Dern’s best performances of his career. The film centers on a troubled elderly man who goes on a road trip with his son (Will Forte) to supposedly receive $1 million. It’s a great story that focuses on the relationship between a father and son, and it’s filled with some great supporting characters. At the same time, the black and white cinematography works perfectly for the story.

Related: Best Modern Movies Shown in Black & White, Ranked

3 The descendants

The descendants is an endearing story about a successful man, Matt King (George Clooney), who struggles to connect with his two daughters while his wife is in a coma. At the same time, he discovers that his wife was having an affair before her terrible accident. Clooney gives one of the best performances of his career as a confused but caring father. At the same time, the film delves deeply into Hawaii’s history. It’s a great mix of comedy and drama with a top performance from Shailene Woodley too.


2 About Schmidt

In Payne’s critically acclaimed film, About Schmidt, we saw Jack Nicholson take on a character he’s never had before. Nicholson plays a subtle and unhappy man who has recently retired. He embarks on a journey to see his estranged daughter after his wife dies unexpectedly. Nicholson is brilliant from start to finish, and the film also features one of Kathy Bates’ best performances of her career. It is a fantastic film about broken dreams and longing for more from life.

1 sideways

sideways is the type of movie that gets better every time you watch it. The film is a buddy comedy about two middle-aged men on a journey through California’s wine country. Along the way we learn a lot about wine tasting from the memorable character Miles (Paul Giamatti). At the same time, Thomas Haden Church gives a hilarious performance as an aging actor who doesn’t seem to grow up. It is an honest and very entertaining film about friendship, love and life. The cast also includes top performances from Virgina Madsen and Sandra Oh.


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