Review: The Descendants

The Descendants 
Release Date: December 9, 2011
Actors: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley
Genre: Drama   
Rating: R
Current Location: In Theaters
4/5 Robots: It's "SS"

A land baron tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident.

Before you watch this movie, you have to understand that it's a "Talky" movie. What this means is that the movie is heavy on dialogue and light on action. To those crazed action fanatics they would call this movie boring and stupid. For people who adore the likes of Aaron Sorkin, they would call this movie a masterpiece. While I think there definitely were some slow areas in the movie, I would say it was still great. 

The movie is based on a book with the same name. It's an original story about a man who is having to take responsibility for his family for the first time. The best part about the movie is the relationship between the father and his daughters. I thought Shailene Woodley (from My Secret Life of an American Teenager) would have been awful in this movie. The acting on her TV show is below par and often cringe worthy. However, this film proved she really does have acting abilities and that the TV show may suffer more heavily from poor writing. She made me cry multiple times in the movie. You cannot see this movie without at least tearing up! 

Another great quality about the movie is George Clooney. I'm not that big of a fan of the movie star. My favorite work he's done is ER, but I'm biased because I love ER. What I can say is that this film may have been his best work yet. I haven't seen such a powerful nuanced performance from him in a while. The audience can really feel his internal dillemmas and struggles...his anger and sadness. It's a complicated movie mixed with complicated emotions and complex acting. It's moving. 

The reason this movie isn't getting 5 robots is simple because it's "SS". That's what my Grandma said when we came out of the movie. In other words it's "slow and sad." While I usually don't take points away from "SS" movies, this one had some points that dragged on a bit too long. But I would reccommend this for anyone who adores Talky movies with emotional weight. 

Academy Award Nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor (George Clooney), Best Director (Alexander Payne), Best Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing (5 total)

1 comment:

  1. I have not seen this movie, but the book was great. I see that it is being reviewd on Elaine Charles' radio show The Book Report on 25 th February. You can listen to the show archived shows on THis is a great way to get a sense of the book and to find out if you want to read it.