The Descendants is the new film from Alexander Payne, the creator of Sideways and About Schmidt. It’s the story of a detached husband and father (George Clooney) dealing with difficult daughters, a failing marriage, real-estate troubles, and death of a family member.
Sounds like a lot of laughs, right?
I'm not sure how, but most of the film is surprisingly lighthearted. And Payne expertly makes both a Hollywood star like Clooney and also a lush locale like Hawaii seem quite everyday.The stellar supporting cast help Payne and Clooney create a story about life and loss that feels very human. By the end of the movie, you are completely invested in these characters. And it's probably the only movie with this subject matter that I'd recommend for the holidays.
Simply put: Expertly enjoyable film about some serious subjects.
Award potential: Big contender for Picture. Director. Screenplay. Actor. Supporting Actress.
The Ten Buck Review: Worth ten bucks.