‘The Descendants’ Review

by on April 18, 2012

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Review of 'The Descendants' - pictured - George Clooney, Shailene Woodley and Nick KrauseA movie review of The Descendants, from Brusimm.

The Oscar winning movie, The Descendants, stars George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause and is directed by Alexander Payne (Cedar Rapids, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, The Savages).  Payne also co-wrote the screenplay and co-produced.

Actually, in addition to the Oscar, The Descendants has won 40+ other awards from various sources and in my mind, they’re all deserved wins.

The movie runs 115 minutes and is rated R.

This movie focuses on a man (Clooney) who has the burden of representing his family on his shoulders as he deals with a huge, multi-million dollar trust land sale while dealing with his wife being in a coma after a boating accident.

As Matt (Clooney) starts to step up, he has to figure out how to reconnect to his daughters since he was more or less an absentee kind of parent (busy with work and all) while tackling the issues presented by a comatose spouse.

Along his journey, he also discovers that one of his daughters, Alex (Woodley) is thoroughly pissed at her mom because she discovered that her mom was cheating with another man.

George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Nick Krause and Amara Miller in The Descendants

The movie takes place on Hawaii, and as the Clooney opening voice-over indicates, he has no clue why it’s called paradise because the same s*t happens to people here like it does in other places around the world, and he proves it, more or less.

As Matt deals with different issues, Clooney presents this wide-eyed but wise persona when dealing with the different aspects that raise their heads, even to the point of wanting to get in touch with his wife’s lover to give him a chance to say goodbye to her in the hospital.

It’s a touching story with some real-world crap that won’t let you forget that no matter how cute a few of the scenes are, there’s this harbinger of doom looming over the family.

The biggest surprise for me was a semi-satellite character named Sid, played by Nick Krause.

Sid seems to be this loser island dude that Alex wants by her side.  Dad’s seriously not happy about it, but all he asks is that they don’t touch in front of him.  But Sid has some surprising nuggets of wisdom underneath his party-mode mind-set that pulls you in and endears him to the movie-viewer as time goes on.

And the actor who portrays Sid is also something special…  Nick Krause went to college at the age of 10, still attended a charter school to grow up amongst people his age, and decided to graduate early from high school so he could shoot The Descendants.  (He reminds me of James Franco, who was constantly studying between takes on the set of 127 Hours.)

George Clooney in The Descendants

All in all, this movie is a powerful emotional experience with no distractions.  Meaning that the directing, editing and such were spot-on as to not be distracting.

If you get a chance, I think The Descendants is worth catching and I completely agree with the IMDb score of 8 out of 10. (rounded up)


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