alexander payne makes films. he tells a story with images the way a real filmmaker should. there are just so many touches in his films – the button on kurtwood smith’s vest, his clip on tie, his watch, dern tapping on the 2 inch doll which is supposed to represent her baby at 10 weeks old, etc. all the minor characters are well-drawn and casted and the major characters do a great job overall. laura dern is fantastic as a childish, selfish woman who is caught between pro-choice and pro-life extremists. laura dern didn’t deserve an oscar (frances mcdormand won, rightly) for her performance, but she definitely should have been nominated. the writing is really good, though not as good as it is in election. i’m tired, but take my word for it…the film is well-crafted from top to bottom, it’s well-layered with drama, acting, direction, social commentary, comedy, etc.