Filmmaker Alexander Payne He directed and co-wrote the satirical films Citizen Ruth and Election. His newest film, About Schmidt, is also a social satire. It stars Jack Nicholson and Kathy Bates who have both been nominated for Academy Awards for their roles. About Schmidt is loosely based on the novel of the same name by Louis Begley. Payne and co-writer Jim Taylor won the Golden Globe for best screenplay for About Schmidt.