Alexander Payne (born 10 February 1961) is an acclaimed filmmaker from Omaha, Nebraska. His films generally include the following tropes:

* AuteurLicense: Gained it after Election, to the point where he has final cut on every film he makes.
* BittersweetEnding: His endings are this at happiest. With the exceptions of [[spoiler: [[DownerEnding About Schmidt]] and [[EarnYourHappyEnding Nebraska.]]]]
* BlackComedy
* ButtMonkey: [[Film/{{Election}} Jim]], [[Film/AboutSchmidt Warren]], [[Film/{{Sideways}} Miles]] and [[Film/{{Nebraska}} David and Woody]] can attest to this.
* CrapsackWorld
* CreatorProvincialism: Alexander Payne ''is'' Omaha.
* CringeComedy
* EagleLand: Overwhelmingly type 2.
* SlidingScaleofIdealismVsCynicism: His films generally lie on the cynical end of the spectrum.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: ''Citizen Ruth'' and ''Nebraska'' are the only two films he's directed which that are not an adaptation of a novel.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Especially his first two films.


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* ''Citizen Ruth'' (1996) -- A drug addict's latest pregnancy becomes a political football in the abortion debate.
* ''Film/{{Election}}'' (1999) -- An idealistic high school teacher tries to sabotage a haughty overachiever's chances of becoming the class president.
* ''Film/AboutSchmidt'' (2002) -- A recently retired/widowed actuary drives to his daughter's wedding. HilarityEnsues.
* ''Film/{{Sideways}}'' (2004) -- Two former college roommates go on a road trip through Santa Barbara Wine Country before one of them gets married. The same guy has sex with a lot of women, the other...not so much.
* ''Film/TheDescendants'' (2011) -- A Hawaiian aristocrat tries to reconnect with his daughters when his wife goes into a coma.
* ''Film/{{Nebraska}}'' (2013) -- An elderly man has his son drive him from Montana to Nebraska so the father can claim a million-dollar prize he thinks he's won. Along the way, they meet many of the old man's friends and relatives and try to repair their strained relationship.