Payne, Clooney Team Up For ‘The Descendants’

I just realized today that Omaha-born director Alexander Payne has a new film coming out. I saw some blurbs yesterday about a new George Clooney movie, but I had no idea it was a Payne effort.

It’s been far too long since he put out a full-length film. After all, the last one was 2004’s “Sideways.”

I love Payne’s intense and caring character studies. He has a way of bringing a warmth to his characters that manages to make them endearing, even if they aren’t really all that endearing.

The new film is called “The Descendants,” and the trailer makes it look as though it sticks to those aforementioned Payne attributes. That’s a good thing. I’m excited to see this movie.

With the long weekend coming up, you might have some time to watch some films. If, like me, you live hundreds of miles from any showing of Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life,” chances are you’re looking for a home viewing option. (I’m still not convinced I need to go to the theater to watch “The Hangover II.”)

A film I will be returning to this weekend (and sharing with some friends), is “The Browning Version.” It’s a powerful examination of a British schoolteacher who must come to terms with the fact that he has failed as a teacher and, perhaps, as a man. I first saw it several years ago when Criterion released the film on DVD. It has always stuck with me, and I’ve been an advocate for the movie. I look forward to seeing if others form the same bond with “The Browning Version” …

Of course, I’d recommend that any readers brave enough to follow my film suggestions give it a try themselves 🙂

Here is a scene from the movie, though if you come into it without context it has nowhere near the weight it actually carries:

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