I’ve observed that actors and directors envy each other. I think a director envies an actor’s ready access to emotion and how beautiful that is, and I think actors can envy directors’ dealing more clinically with emotions, ordering them about dispassionately.
—  Alexander Payne, Oscar-winning director talks to Fresh Air about the technical and emotional aspects of filmmaking

“The Descendants” deleted scene

Scenes 92-93

I found this scene quite nice both in the novel and as performed by Mr. Clooney and Miss Woodley. Since the adaptation concerns itself in no small part with the developing relationship between father and daughter and this scene glimpses an attempt at honest discussion between the two, it was tricky to omit. We cut it, however, in order to maintain  momentum in this section of the film. — dir. Alexander Payne


Dear Mr. Warren Schmidt,

My name is sister Nadine Gautier, of the order of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart. I work in a small village near the town of Embeya in Tanzania. One of the children I care for is little Ndugu Umbu, the boy you sponsor. Ndugu is a very intelligent boy and very loving. He is an orphan. Recently he needed medical attention for an infection of the eye. But he is better now.

He loves to eat melon and he loves to paint. Ndugu and I want you to know that he receives all of your letters. He hopes that you are happy in your life and healthy. He thinks of you everyday. And he wants very much your happiness.

Ndugu is only 6 years old and cannot read or write. But, he has made for you a painting. He hopes that you will like his painting.

Yours sincerely,

Sister Nadine Gautier.