Posts Tagged ‘Telluride Film Festival’

Hail, hail “The Descendants” – Alexander Payne’s first feature since “Sideways” a hit with critics, and the George Clooney-starring comedy-drama is sure to be awards contender

September 17, 2011 9 comments

Hail, hail “The Descendants” – Alexander Payne’s first feature since “Sideways” a hit with critics, and the George Clooney-starring comedy-drama is sure to be awards contender

©by Leo Adam Biga

Originally published in The Reader (


However you feel about Alexander Payne’s work you must concede the cinema landscape is richer now that he’s back with his first feature since Sideways. That’s certainly the consensus among reviewers who’ve seen his The Descendants.

The September 10 world premiere of the much anticipated comedy-drama at the Toronto International Film Festival officially launched the George Clooney-starring vehicle as a must-see this fall movie season. The film’s screenings in Toronto, where Payne, Clooney and co-star Shailene Woodley appeared, came just a week after a press sneak preview at the Telluride Film Festival.

The next big splash comes in October, when The Descendants is the closing night selection at the New York Film Festival. Payne will be on hand, It’s reminiscent of how his highly lauded Sideways and About Schmidt scored major points at prestige festivals. He will aalso accompany his film at festivals in London, Honolulu, Greece, Turin and Dubai.The Fox Searchlight release opens theatrically Nov. 18. Payne will be at special November screenings of The Descendants at Film Streams. Details coming.

Shot in Hawaii in 2010, the film is Payne’s faithful adaptation of the Kaui Hart Hemmings novel. Clooney’s Matt King is a father-husband forced by circumstance and legacy to face some hard truths, such as his dying wife having cheated on him. This rude awakening propels a journey of revenge and reconciliation.


Alexander Payne: His Journey in Film, A Reporter’s Perspective 1998-2012

A compilation of my articles about Payne and his work.  Now available for pre-ordering.



George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, and Amara Miller



Payne and cast at the Toronto International Film Festival, ©photo from




Look for My Reader ( Story on Alexander Payne’s ‘The Descendants’ coming soon to this blog

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Check back mid-week for my inteview with Alexander Payne about his new film ‘The Descendants‘ and the warm reception it’s getting




As some of you may know by now, I’ve been covering Alexander Payne for 15 years, completing dozens of interviews with him over that time and being accorded unprecedented access to his creative process. Keep that in mind as news continues to break about his new film because you will be able to find things here and at that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

This week I will be posting my Reader ( story about Alexander Payne’s new film, The Descendants, starring George Clooney. The film is getting strong reviews after a Telluride sneak peak and a Toronto world premiere, and Payne talks about the film and its warm reception in my piece, coming soon to this blog.  In the coming weeks and months they’ll be much more about The Descendants and about Payne’s next planned film after this, which he’ll be launching relatively early in 2012.

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