Love Letter to Alexander Payne
Dear Alexander Payne: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
1. You made Election and About Schmidt, two hilarious, probing comedies about suburban anomie and human angst.
2. You followed these with Sideways, transporting the same deep humor into a totally different milieu and combining a loser-buddy pic with an homage to the central California coast.
3. You cast Paul Giamatti.
Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers
TicketsWed., Nov. 2, 7:00pm
Arizona Coyotes vs. Nashville Predators
TicketsThu., Nov. 3, 7:00pm
Arizona State University Sun Devils Hockey vs. University of Michigan
TicketsFri., Nov. 4, 7:05pm
2016 Charles Schwab Cup Championship
TicketsWed., Nov. 9, 9:00am
4. You cast Virginia Madsen.
5. You turned down George Clooney -- who wanted the part of has-been actor Jack -- because nobody would believe he was a has-been.
6. Instead of Clooney, you went with Thomas Haden Church, an actual has-been, who aced the role.
7. You refused, in short, to sell out.
8. Even though your money was coming from a studio.
9. You knew how to maintain control, including in the casting.
10. And you trusted that your vision was superior.
11. Finally, you stayed intimate, resisting the temptation to make a grand, Hollywood-style epic with Big Themes.
12. Unlike some directors I could mention, but won't.
13. Okay, it's Jean-Pierre Jeunet, whose films are getting successively worse.
14. What is A Very Long Engagement? It is an overhyped, overly sentimental rehearsal of a thousand films we've seen before.
15. But enough about him.
16. Thanks, Mr. Payne. I love you.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Phoenix, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.