He didn't claim the night's top honors, but Omaha native Alexander Payne won his second Academy Award on Sunday for the adapted screenplay of "The Descendants," his fifth feature film.
It felt a lot like seven years ago, when Payne's fourth movie, "Sideways," also was a five-time nominee, including for best picture and best director. It, too, won only in the adapted-screenplay category.
"We bow to our fellow nominees," Payne said, taking a deep breath. He shared the award with lead actor George Clooney and his cast and crew. Then he thanked his mother, Peggy.
"My mother is here with me from Omaha," he said. "After watching the show she made me promise if I ever won again that I would dedicate it to her the way Javier Bardem did. So, Mom, this is for you. Thanks for letting me skip nursery school so we could go to the movies."
In 2005, Payne shared his award with longtime writing partner Jim Taylor. This time Nat Faxon and Jim Rash were co-credited with "The Descendants" screenplay.
Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, the movie is the story of a Hawaiian family pitched into crisis when the mother has an accident that leaves her in an irreversible coma.
"The Artist" had been widely expected to win best picture, and its French director, Michel Hazanavicius, won the directing prize over Payne.
Jean Dujardin, who played a silent-film star struggling with the introduction of talking pictures in "The Artist," won best actor over George Clooney in "The Descendants."
Payne's film editor, Kevin Tent, lost to "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."
Payne could not immediately be reached Sunday night for comment.
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