Alexander Payne is the only filmmaker who has a perfect batting average with me: All of his movies that I've reviewed earned a four-star rating. Granted, there have been only been three - Election, About Schmidt and Sideways (I didn't review Citizen Ruth) - but that's still pretty good.
I also thought Payne's segment in Paris Je T'Aime (the last one, about the American woman who learns French and goes on vacation to Paris) was the highlight of the entire movie. There's obviously something about Payne's style of storytelling that connects with me, so I was happy to receive a press release today announcing shooting has begun on Payne's new film - his first in seven years - The Descendants, based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.
From the press release: "Set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes poignant journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family’s land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries."
Here's hoping The Descendants is finished in time to come out this December, the same month as True Grit and the Tron sequel. Before then, I'm going to try to track down a DVD of the Japanese remake of Sideways, which I wish I could watch right now. Made in 2009, Saidoweizsu appears to be a shot-for-shot replica of the original, except a lot more sentimental and with some wacky culture-clash humor mixed in.