Following on his win seven years ago with the comedy-drama “Sideways,” Alexander Payne has landed another Academy Award for adapted screenplay, for “The Descendants.”
Payne shared the Oscar for “Descendants” with Nat Faxon and Jim Rash for their adaptation of the Kaui Hart Hemmings novel. Story centers on a Hawaiian lawyer, portrayed by George Clooney, enduring the dark complexities of his rebellious daughters and his comatose spouse while dealing with family squabbles over 25,000 acres of pristine land in Kauai.
“We share this with George and the rest of the cast who so generously interpreted our work,” Payne said from the stage.
Payne concluded his thanks by saying he dedicated his win to his mother, just as Javier Bardem had done when he won for “No Country for Old Men. “Thanks for letting me skip nursery school so we could go to the movies,” Payne added.
As with “Sideways,” “The Descendants” was nominated for five Oscars — best picture for producers Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor; directing for Payne; lead actor for George Clooney and editing for Kevin Tent.
“Sideways,” based on the novel by Rex Pickett, won its Oscar for Payne and Taylor’s script. Fox Searchlight released both films.
Payne was also nominated for directing “Sideways” and for writing another adaptation, 1998’s “Election.” “The Descendants” script won the WGA a week ago and Spirit award on Saturday.
“The Descendants” won the category over “Hugo” by John Logan; “The Ides of March” by George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon; “Moneyball” by Aaron Sorkin and Steve Zaillian and Stan Chervin; and “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” by Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan.