The Descendants

2011

Directed by Alexander Payne – Written by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller and Nick Krause

This film tells a story about a man called Matt King (George Clooney) whose life is not at its greatest point. His wife had a serious boating accident, discovers she was cheating on him with a real estate agent, Brian Speer (Matthew Lillard) and to top it all off she was planning to file for a divorce.

Matt’s family has become very broken and he is desperately trying to juggle each problem as they are added to his mess of a life, with his wife in hospital, his self-destructive daughter and a nagging family. He has the help of his two uncontrollable daughters and a rather ‘special’ friend of the older of the two sisters.

Although the film has a little dark cloud hanging over it throughout due to the circumstances mentioned before, it still manages to squeeze out the odd one-liners that will make you giggle and stay in your head for a while after. Clooney is incredible in the film and shows that he is not just a pretty face to sell the film, the man can ACT! For her debut film, Shailene Woodley (older daughter) put on a fantastic performance of the rebel daughter that couldn’t give a fuck about anything. She has a great talent and it clearly shows seeing as she has been cast for the next Amazing Spider-Man movie, set for release in 2014.

The Descendants has a warming feel overall. It is very cinematic; being shot in Hawaii this is expected. From the beautiful shots of Hawaiian beaches to close-ups of Clooney’s rather rugged looking face, we see a lot of emotions from all the characters and brilliant performances all round.

8/10

– Nathaniel Asher

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