Alexander Payne Tackles Climate Change With Satirical Bent In ‘Downsizing’

DOWNSIZINGWhat would happen if overpopulation dramatically reduces Earth’s natural resources and the cost of living would skyrocket beyond measure? In director Alexander Payne’s latest feature Downsizing Norwegian scientists have discovered a process to shrink people to five inches tall. Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) have decided to become part of this downsized community increase their net worth and enhance their quality of living.

Payne reteams with writer Jim Taylor for the film, and it’s their first writing collaboration since 2004’s Sideways. In the audio clip below, Payne explains why Downsizing, though it has a pointed message about climate change, is at heart a biting satire like his earlier works Citizen Ruth and Election (Taylor is also heard in the clip).


Downsizing, co-starring Golden Globe nominated actress Hong Chau, opens nationwide December 22.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Alexander Payne Goes For “Honest” Storytelling With ‘Downsizing’

DOWNSIZING

Filmmaker Alexander Payne previously worked with George Clooney in The Descendants, and now he’s teamed with Clooney’s good friend and collaborator Matt Damon in Downsizing. The narrative centers on a couple (Matt Damon, Kristen Wiig) who decide to shrink themselves because their net worth of $150,000 would make them millionaires by living in a literally “downsized” universe.

Payne was immediately locked in on Damon for the lead role. “I needed a fantastic actor who I also would believe as an every man,” said Payne. “Who looks more like a real human . . . even though he is a movie star. But then I also needed a movie star who could help bring the financing for the hefty budget we needed. At his age range, mid-40s, really there is only Matt Damon right now. He had been kind enough in passing to tell me, ‘Oh we should work together some day.'”

With today’s politically correct climate, some filmmakers may alter their own storylines to make their work more palatable to a larger audience. That being said, Alexander Payne has his own thoughts about how he approaches storytelling. Click on the media bar below to hear Payne discuss his “honest” approach to crafting a narrative:



Downsizing co-starring Kristen Wiig and Hong Chau opens nationwide December 22nd.

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Posted by: Greg Srisavasdi

Bruce Dern Finds Magic With Alexander Payne In ‘Nebraska’

Nebraska

One of the Cannes Film Festival’s best received movies was director Alexander Payne’s latest work, the black and white shot feature Nebraska.

The huge creative coup for Mr. Payne was landing Bruce Dern for the lead role of an aging, cantankerous Montana resident who believes he’s a sweepstakes winner. Will Forte co-stars as Woody’s son David, an electronic salesman who learns more about his father during a road trip to Lincoln, Nebraska.

During a recent press conference, Dern , who won the Best Actor prize at Cannes, explains why he ranks Alexander Payne as one of the top filmmakers he’s ever worked with. Click on the media bar to hear Dern, whose credits include The Cowboys, The Driver, and The King of Marvin Gardens, discuss his collaboration with Alexander Payne.

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New To Blu: George Clooney Works Through Family Drama In ‘The Descendants’

the-descendants-blu-ray-www_whysoblu_com_Arriving today on DVD and Blu-ray, the critically acclaimed family drama nominated for 5 Academy Awards (including Best Picture and Best Actor) THE DESCENDANTS centers on a man struggling to renew his relationship with his kids after a tragic accident puts his wife in a life-threatening coma. Co-written and directed by ALEXANDER PAYNE, the film stars GEORGE CLOONEY, SHAILENE WOODLEY, AMARA MILLER, NICK KRAUSE, BEAU BRIDGES, MICHAEL ONTKEAN and MATT LILLARD.
An avowed bachelor since his 1993 divorce from actress TALIA BALSAM, CLOONEY doesn’t have any children in real life but has played a father several times on screen. As he told a reporter at the press conference to promote the film, “you don’t have to be one to play one.” (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)
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THE DESCENDANTS is available on DVD and Blu-ray today

Oscar-Nom George Clooney Remembers His Humble Beginnings

george-clooney-the-descendantsStill in theaters and nominated for five Academy Awards, THE DESCENDANTS centers on a man struggling to renew his relationship with his kids after a tragic accident puts his wife in a life-threatening coma. Co-written and directed by ALEXANDER PAYNE, the film stars GEORGE CLOONEY, SHAILENE WOODLEY, AMARA MILLER, NICK KRAUSE, BEAU BRIDGES, MICHAEL ONTKEAN and MATT LILLARD.  A child of show business whose father, NICK, was a noted newscaster and talk show host and aunt, ROSEMARY, an iconic singer and actress, CLOONEY started his acting career in the 1970s. During the press conference to promote THE DESCENDANTS, he talked about his beginnings in show biz. (CLICK ON THE MEDIA BAR FOR AUDIO)

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THE DESCENDANTS is in theaters now