Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Descendents - movie review

 This is an Alexander Payne film(directed and he helped write the screenplay). And of course, being a native son of Omaha, well..we are proud of him. Saying this, I'm not sure we can be totally honest about him in our part of the world. As it is, he never depicted our city in a very good light in Citizen Ruth (which is about the abortion clinic which I do know the location of) nor even in Election. Still Payne is the type of director to capture the pains of ordinary life, for the most part. I'll have to admit I've never seen Jack Nicholson more real than when he was in About Schmidt. Nor have I seen such sly wit in any film as I have Sideways (A film Clooney had wanted to play Jack in, but Payne didn't want anyone really famous in the film, at that time.)

Here is a film of George Clooney as Matt King, very close and personal. There are scenes that show him walking, running, and up close scenes as well. He's in a very hard place in his life. His wife was in a boating accident and is slowly fading away in a coma. Also, his cousins are hoping to cash in on a trust of land. This is where the descendents gets complicated. All these white people who are in the family history of Hawaii. Of course, this is the part I'm not sure I completely 'buy' as the story. Also, the fact that someone married to George Clooney type would cheat on him? Another complication that doesn't make the total film believable.

But in this film its Shailene Woodley as his daughter Alexandera thats believable. Such raw emotions, especially, the swimming pool scene. And don't forget Nick Krause as her friend Sid. He comes of a bit Patrick Fugit. He says he was inspired by the Big Lebowski for his role in an interview. He comes off as a big lug, but this guy in reality has been taking college classes since he was ten. He practically stole every scene he was in. This guy is definitely one to watch for.

One of my favorite moments in the movie were that of Robert Forster as the father of Matt's wife in a coma. Each scene he gives you a different perspective of how he sees his daughter, which is far from the reality. Showing who he thinks who is at fault of his daughter's ordeal.

The film is sad. Its a sensitive subject. Some might be offended by the youngest daughter, Scottie's (Amara Miller) potty mouth. Really, it is a movie worth watching (although, I wasn't a fan of the voice overs). Such a great cast and the beautiful back drop of Hawaii with a pure soundtrack of the beat of Hawaiian tunes. Although, it could be a tad over rated. Still, its an enjoyable film that just might get an Oscar buzz.

STORYLINE: With his wife Elizabeth on life support after a boating accident, Hawaiian land baron Matt King takes his daughters on a trip from Oahu to Kauai to confront the young real estate broker, who was having an affair with Elizabeth before her misfortune.


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