THE DESCENDANTS is one of this year's best picture nominees and it deservedly so belongs in that list. I knew little about the film going in, I now try not to watch the trailers for a movie I'm going to see so I can just be captivated for 2 hours or more. It's a better movie experience if you do this. I knew it starred George Clooney and the beautiful Shailene Woodley (who is amazing as Clooney's daughter Alexandra) but I didn't know that Mathew Lillard also had a small role in the film. I also knew that it was directed by Alexander Payne whose SIDEWAYS is still my favorite film of his.
THE DESCENDANTS is about a father (George Clooney) trying to cope with his dying wife and the unnerving relationship that he has with his daughters (Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller) and having to weave both of those complicated yet and emotional things together therein lies the plot of the film. He tries to get his daughters together and re examine his future as well as deciding on selling or not selling the family land that was handed down to them from Hawaiian royalty. Films like these sometimes don't even get to see much success at the box office because of their limited releases even with big movie stars but this one did quite well at the box office when it was released. And I'm sure more people will get to see it because of Oscar weekend.
In closing the film is a well directed piece by Alexander Payne who manages to move along the plot while adding a subplot about his wife's loyalty. It is well acted although I thought Clooney could've done a much better job in the emotional scenes, I'm not saying he did poorly and he didn't deserve his Oscar nomination but it was a good performance. I really liked Woodley's performance and even the annoying but funny Sid (Nick Krause) who was there to bring peace and calmness to Alexandra at the beginning and throughout the film and hell, we even got a Beau Bridges sighting. Sometimes people tend to forget about their loved ones because of their busy and chaotic lives that they don't stop to realize that their loved ones need to be reminded that they love having them in their lives, and at the end of the movie we know how important the love of a family is; no matter how hard, sad and tragic circumstances may be.
3 and a half out of 4.