Saturday, 3 March 2012

The Descendants (2011) - ★★★½

Director: Alexander Payne
Writer: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon (screenplay), Kaui Hart Hemmings (novel)
Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Matthew Lillard

Finally! George Clooney showing real emotion in a movie! The Descendants is a charming but sad film about a Dad struggling to fix his relationship with his daughters and deal with the news of his wife having an affair. On top of that, his wife is dying in hospital as a result of a boating accident. This doesn't sound like the kind of movie many people would enjoy right? Well wrong, because this movie somehow made me change my opinion on George Clooney's range of acting and it actually made me feel something for every character, whether it be pity, happiness or anger.

Filmed in Hawaii, there are some truly beautiful shots of the Island as he and his daughters relationships get stronger. There were many subtle issues addressed in this movie, such as the youngest daughter getting less fatherly attention because she is better behaved than the older one, the step-father who will always blame his step-son for his daughter being unhappy, the oldest daughters boyfriend who also has many issues of his own yet no one really cares about it and the issue of whether it is right to hate his wife for cheating while she is dying.

George Clooney really shines in this movie, as does Shailene Woodley. The anguish on their faces when they hear the bad news was natural and convincing, as was the scene when George found out about the affair. Overall this is a movie about a messed up family coming together through the death of their mother and actually growing stronger because of the ordeal. Very, very good.

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