The Descendants staring George Clooney reminded me a lot of other indie type sleeper films that are really good but just don’t connect with mass movie-goer population. Great character pieces that touch a little to close to home. I’ve heard that George might be up for Oscar with this one and I wouldn’t be surprised at all of that is the case. He was excellent. A pretty far cry from his usual charmer debonair roles that he is so well known for.
I was also impressed with the actress that plays his daughter, Shailene Woodley. I haven’t seen her before, but I guess she has been in quite a few TV shows. She stood her ground next to Clooney and was interestingly refreshing which is surprising since she is the only one in this movie who couldn’t stop cussing. It wasn’t excessive, just a little uncomfortable since most of it was in the presence of her impressionable 10 year old sister.
The story revolves around a husband whose somewhat estranged wife ends up in the hospital. Now the “back up” parent has to deal with two daughters who he clearly has no idea what to do with. He then finds out some shocking news while he is still dealing with the uncertainty of his wife’s prognosis. There is a side story concerning some family business dealings which I found to be somewhat unnecessary but I understand how and why they fit it into the story.
The real star of this movie is its location, Hawaii. The “real” aspects of Hawaii are showcased, glamorous or not…mostly not. The cinematography is really quite breathtaking and you really get a sense of Hawaii and what it is all about. Not a common location for movies, but it fit in beautifully with this story and I can’t imagine the movie taking place anywhere else.
Overall, most people who appreciate movies for character development and who aren’t afraid of emotion and seeing stuff that’s hard to watch will like this movie. If you are more interested in escaping and being strictly entertained, you may find this boring or simply uninteresting.
Overall Rating- Large popcorn, medium drink