The Descendants [Blu-ray]
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From Alexander Payne, the celebrated director of Sideways, comes Oscar®-winning film that Rolling Stone calls “damn near perfect.” Academy Award® winner George Clooney “gives his best performance to date” (Philip French, The Observer) and newcomer “Shailene Woodley shines” (Total Film). Experience a bittersweet drama about a detached father’s attempt to reconnect with his two daughters and their often-hilarious quest for the truth in this “beautifully observed and brilliantly acted comedy drama” (Sunday Express).
Only Oscar-winning writer-director Alexander Payne (Sideways) would think to cast the famously handsome George Clooney as a dishevelled dad in his outstanding adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemmings's tragicomic novel. Clooney dials down the glamour to play Matt King, a Hawaii real-estate attorney with a propensity for unflattering shirts and ill-fitting trousers. When Matt's wife, Elizabeth, ends up in a coma after a water-skiing accident, Matt must learn to balance the parenting of his resentful daughters, Scottie (Amara Miller) and Alexandra (Shailene Woodley, The Secret Life of the American Teenager), with the sale of a pristine plot of Kauai land that stands to make the King cousins, including scruffy Hugh (Beau Bridges), a fortune. As Elizabeth's condition worsens, Matt contacts friends and relatives, like her fiercely protective father (Robert Forster), so that they'll have the chance to say goodbye. In the process, he finds out she was having an affair with realtor Brian Speer (Matthew Lillard, effectively cast against type), so he and the girls, including Alex's hilariously mellow friend, Sid (Nick Krause), go on an island-hopping trip, ostensibly to add Brian to the mix, but Matt really wants to find out what his wife saw in the guy. His journey from naiveté to knowledge brings out Clooney's soulful side, creating a believably flawed, deeply sympathetic figure. If Payne leans too heavily on the slack-key soundtrack, his love for his characters, including Judy Greer as Matt's female counterpart, results in his most emotionally satisfying movie to date. --Kathleen C. Fennessy --This text refers to an alternate Blu-ray edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a slightly off-beat film/story, with interseting characters (who develop nicely - and in at least one case, surprisingly - as the film progresses), and Clooney is very good. I never know what to expect with Clooney, but this is one of his better films - the lead role could have been overacted quite easily, but Clooney does it just right.
Both my wife and I liked it, which is unusual, as we have quite different tastes. If you like intelligent films, try it, you won't be disappointed.
NB: Only 4 stars in no way suggests anything wrong with the film, I just like to reserve 5 stars for really good films.
Not much on the politics of family financial tugging but a lot on one family learning how to live with each other. Clooney keeps it from becoming a daytime soap serial. The self-discovery portions (there's a lot of them) are mostly wry and often affecting. No big-time movie star aura from Clooney and he's not afraid to make his character (and himself) look a bit silly at times.
It's good to see someone normally as suave as Mr Clooney, looking pretty out of his depth with two young girls and he pulls it off well. Despite having plenty of adult themes running through it - death, adultery, family in-fighting - it's actually quite a nice film with a decent message about family values.
It's not hilarious, but then it doesn't try to be. Just enjoy it for a gentle ride of good humour.
Gregory Peck once said it's hard to make a good man look interesting.
You can probably imagine in a cinematic world peopled with antiheroes, flawed heroes, or unrealistic superheroes, how refreshing it might be, to encounter a good guy we can relate to, in situations that parallel those we might actually experience.
George Clooney plays Matt King, a lawyer, businessman, and hardworking mostly absent father of two girls. He happens to be wealthy because of his descent from the original landowners of Hawaii, the real Hawaiians, who own most of Hawaii. Sole trustee of the family's interests, and now because of succession rules faced with the situation of having to sell off thousands of acres of pristine land to resort developers. Despite his family wealth Doug leads a very modest life. He drives a metallic silver Honda Civic, a sensible car.
When his thrillseeking wife ends up in a coma following a powerboating accident, he is thrust into the unfamiliar role of looking after his two daughters each bringing their own challenges. The younger one has difficulties in school, the older one, well, she's a teenager.Read more ›
Also an excellent novel that is only slightly different from the film in that it explains a little more about Sids' problems (Sid is the elder daughters' friend).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is set in Hawaii. However, at the very beginning we are informed that just because people live in a beautiful place, that does not mean that their lives are any more beautiful... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ozymandias
Good story line. Unpredictable and we'll acted by Clooney and the rest of the cast. Funny at times.Published 5 months ago by farah