253 Great Directors: Alexander Payne

“We don’t have movies about ourselves, and we don’t have a national film culture. It shouldn’t be an epic aspiration to make simple human stories, but it is.”

What Got This Director Here?
: A wit that appeals to a very broad demographic.

My Favorite Past Experience Was…: Nebraska.

What Did I Watch: Citizen Ruth.

Where Does He Fit: I’ll admit that I came into Citizen Ruth a little skeptical because it was the day of the inauguration and I was really not in the mood for a film that pretends that pro-choice people are, like, just as crazy as pro-lifers! But thankfully, we do not. The only decent person, really, is the one who is firmly on the choice side, and the lunacy on both sides is fully rooted in human traits that are real and fair rather than “look at the lunatic hippies!” (Well…the Moon Song is a problem for me, a little.) The final shot is particularly joyous even though we have little reason to be happy for Laura Dern.


Most Valuable Asset: Humor.
Most Excited For: About Schmidt (although I need to rewatch Sideways, too).
Did They Deserve a Spot?: Yes.

Coming Up Next: Eternally sunny Michel Gondry.


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