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His father is of Greek and German descent, and his mother is of Greek ancestry. Payne went there regularly as a child. The restaurant was destroyed in a fire in ; the W.
Dale Clark Library is now located on the site. He graduated from Creighton Prep for high school in He later lived a few months in MedellinColombia, where he published an article about social changes between and Career[ edit ] In the s, Payne's father received a Super 8mm projector from Kraft Foods as a loyalty reward,   and eventually passed it on to his son when Alexander was about 14 years old.
The ensuing screenplay, which was turned down, would ultimately become About Schmidt. Election [ edit ] His second film, Electionstarring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoonwhich takes aim at politics and education in America, attracted attention when New Yorker film critic David Denby named it the best film of To the surprise of many who kept track of Hollywood news,   Payne and his writing partner Jim Taylor were not nominated for an Oscar for the About Schmidt screenplay.
In total, Sideways received five Academy Award nominations. The Descendants [ edit ] Payne returned to directing in after a seven-year hiatus with the film The Descendantsstarring George Clooney. He also co-wrote the screenplay, winning the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Anna Musso, his long-time assistant and protege, wrote and directed the film, which shot in March The project was partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign. Payne served as an executive producer on the films King of California and The Savages.
Payne disliked the final product, stating that Adam Sandler rewrote so much of the story that almost all of what Payne and Taylor wrote was gone. Themes[ edit ] Payne's films often revolve around middle-aged or older men who reach a breaking point in their lives, enter into transformative existential crises, and then emerge in the end as changed people, for better or worse.
Some unexpected life experience forces the central male figure to "crack" and see the world in a new and surprising way.
This theme appears in Election, About Schmidt, Sideways, The Descendants, and to a lesser extent in Nebraska, via the son, one of two main characters. His movies also tend to involve infidelity, road trips or travel, tragedy, despair, disappointment, and crises of masculinity.
He has set many of his films in Omahawhich happens to be his home town. His films sometimes include scenes of historical landmarks, black and white photographs, and museums, and he often uses amateur actors for minor roles.
Nearly all of his films are dramas that nonetheless incorporate significant comedic elements and portray characters that are vulnerable and flawed but also likable.
Payne is on the short list of directors who have final cut rights for their films.Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin Get our Script eNewsletter and receive the latest in screenwriting news and, for a limited time, get a free download of the How to Write a Screenplay workbook!
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