Alexander Payne (born February 10, 1961) is an acclaimed filmmaker from Omaha, Nebraska. His films generally include the following tropes:
[[AC: Directed:]]
* ''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.
* ''Film/{{Downsizing}}'' (2017) -- A social satire in which an average man thinks he would have a better life if he were to shrink.

!!His films provide examples of:

* 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.
* CentralTheme: Existential crises, satirical depictions of American society,
* CreatorProvincialism: Alexander Payne ''is'' Omaha.
* CringeComedy
* EagleLand: Overwhelmingly type 2.
* GreyAndGrayMorality: His films are about the modern person, fallible but complex. Heroes are not perfect and any character that seems antagonistic still has redeeming qualities.
* SlidingScaleofIdealismVsCynicism: His films generally lie a tad more towards the cynical end of the spectrum, however his films aren't generally mean spirited. His protagonists are still pretty likable to route for and care about.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: ''Citizen Ruth'' and ''Nebraska'' are the only two films he's directed which are not adaptations of novels.
* UncreditedRole: He was an uncredited script doctor for ''Film/MeetTheParents'' and ''Film/JurassicPark3''.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Especially his first two films.