Alexander Payne

Matt Damon Cast in Alexander Payne’s Geopolitical Thriller ‘Downsizing’

Alexander Payne’s Downsizing has been in development since 2004, but because of technological issues and scale, he hasn’t been able… Read More

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10 Fun and Fascinating Facts About the 2014 Oscar-Nominated Films

Tomorrow night, we’ll finally be able to cash in on those Oscar bets when the best of Hollywood are honored at the 86th Academy Awards. Nine feature films created by some of the greatest directors working today will compete for Best Picture gold. We’ve selected ten fun and fascinating facts about each movie, recognizing the extreme and sometimes unusual methods these filmmakers and stars employed to create a memorable motion picture. … Read More

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‘Nebraska’: Bruce Dern Is Great, But Don’t Overlook June Squibb

Despite being an Alexander Payne fan, I was not particularly pumped to see Nebraska, a seemingly bleak, black and white road movie following a sad old guy. To be honest, nothing really grabbed me in the film’s opening minutes, and I was fully prepared for a major downer of a movie that veered dangerously close to a coastal director’s ridicule of those living in the flyover states. But at some point very early in, Nebraska becomes a very touching film, albeit a quiet and reflective one. By the end of the movie, I was so surprised at how satisfied I felt leaving the theater that it took some effort to remember my hesitations going in. In short: Nebraska is a charming and surprising movie that exceeds all expectations. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in November

Though we’re in the midst of fall and the serious award contenders should presumably fill the theaters, the slate of big studio releases looks more like summer than Oscar season: this month’s big contenders include another Thor, another Hunger Games, a new Disney flick, and a Vince Vaughn sperm donor comedy. So, as usual, the independent filmmakers and distributors are picking up the slack; here’s our overview of the month’s best and most promising indie flicks. … Read More

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Bruce Dern Revives the Spirit of ’70s Cinema in Alexander Payne’s ‘Nebraska’

“There’s not an actor alive who doesn’t wanna work with Alexander Payne,” announced Bruce Dern at the conclusion of Nebraska, the new film from the director of Sideways and Election, which is playing this week at the New York Film Festival. And he’s probably right — but it’s also easy to say that when said director hands an actor a role as plum as Dern’s. Like his longtime friend Jack Nicholson’s collaboration with Payne on About Schmidt, Dern’s performance in Nebraska transforms our perception of the iconic New Hollywood actor. Forever typecast as nutjobs and con artists, Dern’s Woody Grant is a little chubby, a little bewildered, and a lot unkempt. He’s grizzled, resigned, and wonderful, and so is the film. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Big Deal, All-In Fall Movie Preview

There’s a particularly juicy crop of Movies for Grown-Ups™ to look forward to this season — daunting, even. It’s all exhaustive and a little overwhelming, but hey, that’s what fall moviegoing is all… Read More

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Hollywood’s All-Time Most Memorable Meltdowns

That Kanye West, he just keeps on giving. Gawker has gotten its hands on a surreptitiously recorded audiotape of West having a rather nonsensical meltdown after the Tyler Swift-VMA debacle back in 2009. It’s a pretty entertaining bit of tape, and it immediately reminded this viewer of the notorious David O. Russell tape, and other movie-related throwdowns. After the jump, a roundup of the most notorious tempter tantrums in movies — both on-screen and off. … Read More

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The Saddest Comedies Ever Made

As we move into Thanksgiving week, DVD players and cable networks across the land will be cuing up our favorite turkey day movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. One of its viewers may very well be Flavorwire favorite Emma Stone, who recently told Entertainment Weekly that Planes is the movie that made her want to be an actor — specifically, Steve Martin’s late-night motel “Chatty Cathy” tirade. Miss Stone explains, “You go from laughing hilariously at Steve Martin to your heart breaking for John Candy in that one scene, and that was, I think, the first time that I saw that you could do both.” Planes, Trains wasn’t the first movie to prove that you could “do both” — i.e., mesh the funny and the sad with equal effectiveness. But it’s one of the best, and after the jump, we’ll take a look at that and a few other very sad comedies. … Read More

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A User’s Guide to Essential Anthology Films

This Friday marks the theatrical release of V/H/S, a chilling and genuinely effective found-footage anthology from directors Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence. (It’s available on demand now.) As scary and unnerving as it is, however, it does fall prey to the seemingly inevitable pitfall of a multi-director anthology film: there are a couple of sections that simply aren’t as good as the rest of the film. When you think about it, it’s bound to happen; even if the filmmakers assembled are all talented, there’s a pretty good chance at least one participant will have difficulty conforming to the short form, or will have trouble measuring up to the others, or just might be off their game. As a result, very few completely great anthology movies have been made — most at least have a couple of segments that don’t fit.

But that’s the joy of DVD: in your living room, you can do the editing job that their fellow filmmakers were too polite to perform. After the jump, we’ll take a look at a few of the best-known multi-director anthology movies, and offer up some viewing suggestions for them. … Read More

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