Review: The Descendants
What We ThoughtGenre: Comedy, Drama
What We Liked :George Clooney Career Best Performance, Shailene Woodley
What We Disliked:Depressing elements, Hawaiian land subplot
The Descendants captures those moments of trauma in our lives and passionately reveals the beauty in those moments.
Matt King (George Clooney) is a very busy man. He is in the mist of selling off his family’s land that has been handed down through generations. The land comes from Hawaiian royalty and would make Matt and his family extremely rich. Matt has forgotten about his family over the last few years and it all comes crashing down on him quickly.
Mike’s wife has just suffered a horrific boating accident off of Waikiki that has put her into a coma. Matt decides he needs to reconnect with his daughters so that they can get through the tragic event as a family. His daughters aren’t ready for their father to actually be part of their lives and hesitate letting him in.
For all the humor The Descendants advertises, it delves into a lot of depressing elements. The film has a wake, bereaved family members, children overcoming loss, and adultery. Normally, a film would be smothered under all this sad material, but the script provides enough humor and heart to get easily transition through the scenes.
I never saw the appeal in George Clooney as an actor. He gets tons of raves and people seem to come out in droves to see his latest pictures. I’m not sure how it happened, but this is easily George Clooney’s best role. There’s going to be arguments for his roles in Up in the Air and Michael Clayton, but he has reached for this performance and it shows as one of his best.
The supporting cast of The Descendents is also impressive. His two daughters Alexandra and Scottie played by Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller, couldn’t have been more perfectly cast. They are asked to get extremely vulgar throughout the film and pull it off with ease. Each one of the characters in the film have hidden layers. Take Nick Krause as Sid for example. Coming off as comedic relief, there’s a point where Sid’s character grows into something much more.
The Descendants is all about growing into something more than the sum of your parts. Life in this Hawaiian paradise is just as challenging as our lives on the mainland. We’ve all seen films about families overcoming tragedies and surviving turmoil. Hawaii adds to the freshness of this story, but so do the performances. George Clooney proves why he is an A-list actor and should be in the front row seat for the Best Actor Oscar. The Descendants captures those moments of trauma in our lives and passionately reveals the beauty in those moments.