Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Descendants

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being good and 5, being epic!

The Descendants - 4 out of 5

I'm a big George Clooney fan.  The man is an amazing actor--sure he was the worst Batman in the most foul Caped Crusader film ever produced but with the numerous other films he's delivered in, one can easily forget Batman & Robin.  The man is amazing to watch in action and, if he's in a movie, it's a guarantee I will see it--no mater what it is about.  Even if the film is him sitting in recliner talking about his favorite way to eat pancakes and the movie is two hours long, I will sit through every second of it and proclaim it was the best performance of a man describing how he eats pancakes.

"Hello?...Why yes I am George Clooney and I am impossibly talented and handsome."

She looks like an angel...a comatose angel.
The Descendants is about a lawyer living in Hawaii named Matt King (George Clooney) who's wife is involved in a horrible accident that leaves her in a coma and on the brink of death.  With their marriage already on the rocks, King has to get his daughters together, give the news to the rest of the family and come to terms with the worst possible scenario of his wife's condition.  If that wasn't enough, he's busy going through a major business deal with his family over a large plot of land that belongs to him and a trust.  And if that wasn't enough, he discovers a tragic secret his wife kept from him.

So Earl's father retired to Hawaii after My Name is Earl got cancelled.

The subject material sounds like the film is going to be rich and heavy in drama but the reality is the movie manages to balance that with a hint of comedy thrown in.  Watching King's ordeal as he is trying to be a patient father to his emotionally damaged daughters, a lawyer who's about to make the biggest deal of his life with his family and dealing with his own pain and torment over the events of his spouse makes for a great story that can make you jump from crying to laughing to smiling with joy as you see the family come together over a great tragedy.

Dammit...even forlorn and in emotional pain, George Clooney is better looking
than I will ever be.

Not surprisingly, Clooney is amazing to watch but backing him up were two very talented young ladies as his daughters who manage to hold their own against Clooney's amazing acting talents.  Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller play the daughters of Matt King; Alexandra and Scottie respectively, and each actress does an amazing job of showing the heartache each one is going through as they watch their mother slip farther into the abyss.  Scottie acts out at school while Alexandra reacts with animosity towards her mother over feelings of abandonment and resentment over a secret she's had to carry with her.  Both Woodley and Miller bring an alter dynamic to the "mommy issue" and keep the story going at a great pace as Clooney's character tries to balance them, his own issues, and his business life. 

Matthew Lillard is in this one...and he looks like he just remembered he's played Shaggy.

The Descendants is a wonderfully emotional story that can make you laugh, cry and smile--without overdoing any of those above reactions.  To put it simply:  The Descendants is a well balanced drama that tells a great story and has some terrific acting.

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