Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Decendants

Clooney and the luminous Shailene Woodley
I wanted a few hours away from the village today.
And a couple of hours of passable coffee, the paper and a good film seemed like a good idea
The Descendants and a trip to the scala cafe was that good idea.

In it George Clooney gives a winning performance as a middle aged man who is caught up with a whole series of emotional and family traumas which coincide with the fatal injuring of his wife in a boating accident.

Clooney plays Hawaii landowner and workaholic lawyer Matt King, a man that has become distanced from his fun loving wife Elizabeth, foul mouthed teenage daughter Alex (Shailene Woodley) and precocious ten year old daughter Scottie (Amara Miller).

As the family gather , they need to deal with Elizabeth's coma and imminent death and Matt has to forge a new relationship with his family, his daughters dim but well intentioned boyfriend, Sid, (Nick Krause) and his wife's secret life, which has just come to light.

The Descendants is not as complicated a film as it could be. It has a lightness about it ( well between some wonderfully emotional but unsentimental scenes of the reactions of grief) and this lightness is thanks primarily to Clooney and to Woodley, who is simply brilliant in the role of Alex, a girl who grows in maturity as she gets to understand and support her father,
Their scenes together shine magnificently!

Mind you, not everything in Alexander Payne's movie is as impressive as the acting. Some of the second half of the story ( where Matt confronts his wife's lover at a beautiful Hawaiian resort) does drag just a little bit. It is though the pace of the first half suddenly peters away for some obscure reason.

However this is a very small criticism of an enjoyable adult film in which Clooney is a true and likeable delight

8/10

25 comments:

  1. Please tell me that hair is a wig and he hasn't gone grey overnight!

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  2. How was the coffee and sweet?

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  3. your review makes it sound worthy of a look...if only to watch GC!

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  4. Jim
    the coffee was great....no cake too!!!!!!

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  5. Not the first positive review I've read regarding this film and yet... it isn't pulling me. I feel very ambivalent about Clooney I must admit.

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  6. I believe George really is that grey. He was nearly as grey in "Up in the Air," which i also watched recently.

    I didn't find the film to drag as John said, although were i to watch the film a second time (which i would very much consider), i would have to see if i notice.

    I love your movie reviews, John. You haven't steered me wrong yet!

    megan

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  7. steve
    he has a talent, that's for sure but the actress that plays his daughter is worth seeing the film for really!

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  8. Hello John! Well now that I've read your movie review hubby and I will see this one FOR SURE. Did you get your coffee? ;)

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  9. I'd give Shailene Woodley one.

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  10. of that I have no doubt tom!
    but seeing that she is as old as one of your socks.... I very much doubt she would though.........
    xxx

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  11. Let's hope she is as dirty as one of my socks too, then.

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  12. An adult movie? With George Clooney? I'm in...

    Oh wait...nevermind...

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  13. I was wondering what you thought of this movie. Although I thought it was well acted, I was not crazy about the story line. I found it rather depressing. I enjoyed Clooney's other movie, The Ides of March more, which Clooney wrote, directed and was one of the actors. Have you seen that one?
    Arleen

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  14. no arleen
    was going to get it on dvd tonight actually but picked the bloody awful IMMORTALS
    I will give it a go on your recommendation
    x

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  15. Sounds like one I'd enjoy, anything with George Clooney ;)
    ~Jo

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  16. I really enjoyed the Descendants. I am looking forward to seeing The Artist soon. xo

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  17. I enjoyed the film, but I thought Clooney's acting was rather wooden and unexpressive. I think he trades too much on his physical charms. I thought Shailene Woodley was a much better actor, totally riveting and totally convincing.

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  18. I think I gave it an 8 too. I liked it more than I thought I might.Was pretty close to home like my growing up years, so brought out the fight between loving someone and forgiving them for what seems unforgivable. That scene can play out on a corpse as easily as in a car!!

    Did you see WarHorse yet??

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  19. You're seeing a lot of flicks just lately JG!

    Not good for your weight watcher's - all that popcorn...

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  20. Sounds great. Will have to see it (and have a more than passable coffee).

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  21. Sounds like this one might be worth watching. Thanks for the review!

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  22. Sure made a change from the chickens John. Don't think this one has been to our local cinema yeat - we are going to see Best Exotic Marigold Hotel next week though.

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  23. I just saw this last night, John and was blown away. I agree with what you said about the pace but, wow, it was tremendous. So funny in parts and so sad without being melodramatic in others. That very first scene, where he promises to be a better husband and father, was magnificent. Clooney just gets better and better and the older girl was tremendous - but the youngster, Scotty, wasn't any slacker either. Good, good stuff.

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