reviewed by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban
Directed by the creator of the Oscar-winning SIDEWAYS, The Descendants starts when Matt King, a “back-up” father (his words) must slow down his career to take care of his two daughters (17 and 11) while his wife is in the hospital in a comma caused by a boat accident. Soon we learn, his wife, spurned by Matt’s long absences and indifference, was having an affair. Matt and his older daughter decide to search for this man they never met dragging along the younger girl and the oldest girl’s boyfriend, and, of course, the viewer.
The Descendants has many things going for it. George Clooney, for one, beautiful views of two of the islands of Hawaii, a strong story that does not shy away from reality and avoids the sugarcoating so prevalent in Hollywood movies, and great acting from all the actors including the aforementioned Mr. Clooney.
Yet, I cannot say I loved it.
Why? Because it is a realistic take on fatherhood and marriage and, after watching the trailer, I expected something lighter.
This is not the movie’s fault. The Descendants is a serious movie and that’s perfectly all right. I like serious movies. But not when I am expecting something else.
So, now that you know, please go and enjoy. It’s worth seeing. Just don’t go for the laughs. The laughs you can have just now by clicking the trailer below.
I agree with everything that’s been said about the movie, but that didn’t keep me from loving it. I enjoyed seeing a story unfold and very human characters learn and grow instead of just watching a series of action scenes. As for expecting something a bit different, I liked that. Surprise is good.
I’m right there with you, Pat! However, Dave and I saw this movie last week and I agree completely with Carmen’s assessment. A good movie if you’re not looking for an escape from reality, which, frankly, is why I go to the movies. My own life is enough reality for me, thank you.
As the critics are saying, great performances, good movie, but very heavy stuff and not at all what the trailers lead you to expect. I’d wait for the DVD on this one, when you can have a bottle of wine (yes, you’ll need an entire bottle) while you’re watching it!
I remember seeing the trailer for this at another movie a while back, and all I could think was: a woman is married to George Clooney – George CLOONEY? – and she’s having an affair with another man?