|Clooney and the luminous Shailene Woodley|
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