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Director Payne encompasses extremes in ‘Descendants’

Alexander Payne (left) and George Clooney on the set of “The Descendants.’’ Alexander Payne (left) and George Clooney on the set of “The Descendants.’’ (MERIE WALLACE/FOX SEARCHLIGHT PICTURES)
By Wesley Morris
Globe Staff / November 13, 2011

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In “The Descendants,’’ George Clooney plays a Hawaiian businessman juggling a pile of dilemmas. The movie is the fifth comedy from Alexander Payne, the director of the abortion-war satire “Citizen Ruth,’’ “Election,’’ “About Schmidt’’ and “Sideways’’ and a producer of HBO’s male-prostitute series, “Hung.’’ In September, during the Toronto Film Festival, the Globe talked with Payne about his new movie and other matters.

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