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The Descendants

A 2011 movie directed by Alexander Payne.

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'The Descendants' 'Two Jews On Film' Can't Feel The Heart In Clooney's Latest Family Dramedy (Video)

  • Nov 14, 2011
Rating:
+2


When 'The Descendants' directed by Alexander Payne (Sideways) started, I really expected to love it.  I mean, the film is set in Hawaii, there's a woman in a coma, and it stars George Clooney.

Unfortunately, I had quite a different experience.  I didn't hate this film, but I did find my mind wandering...thinking about my overweight dog who needs to go on a diet...Definitely not a good sign.

Okay, so here's the story...George Clooney plays, Matt King.  Matt is married but not the greatest of husbands.  He has two children...but not the greatest of fathers...
 
Matt is your typical clueless, workaholic.  Besides being a lawyer, he's is the trustee of 25,000 acres of untouch land on the island of  Kauai, left to him and his many cousins by their ancestors.  Now, a greedy developer (is there any other kind) wants to buy the land and build all those things that greedy developers build on pristine land.  

When his wife gets into a boating accident and falls into a coma, Matt soon finds his neat little world spinning out of control.  


He has to very quickly figure out how to become a dad to his two kids.
 This proves problematic, since his oldest daughter, (Shailene Woodley) is really pissed off at him after years of neglect and not interested in Matt's need to become 'father of the year'.

 Plus, Matt has to find a way to tell his youngest daughter, Scottie (Amara Miller) that her mother won't be waking up.

If that's not enough to stress him out, Matt's cousins are pressuring him to sell the land to the greedy developer and his wife's father, (Robert Forster) blames him for everything bad that's ever happened to his daughter.
 
Oh yeah...there's one more thing...Matt discovers that his wife was cheating on him and becomes obsessed with discovering who his wife's lover was...even dragging his daughters into his quest.  

'The Descandants' is based on a book written by  Kaui Hart Hemmings.  Payne wrote the screenplay along with two other writers, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash. I always worry when I see more than two writers on a film.  You know that saying...too many cooks...

In the end, I found 'The Descendants' lacking the emotional impact I expected and wanted from a film dealing with, loss and grief. 

Because of that, I gave this movie only 2 1/2 bagels out of 5 and John, gave it even less.  Check out our video to see John's, George Clooney's impersonation. 

'The Descendants' opens in theaters, Wednesday, November 16, 2011.

By Joan Alperin-Schwartz
'The Descendants' 'Two Jews On Film' Can't Feel The Heart In Clooney's Latest Family Dramedy (Video) 'The Descendants' 'Two Jews On Film' Can't Feel The Heart In Clooney's Latest Family Dramedy (Video) 'The Descendants' 'Two Jews On Film' Can't Feel The Heart In Clooney's Latest Family Dramedy (Video) 'The Descendants' 'Two Jews On Film' Can't Feel The Heart In Clooney's Latest Family Dramedy (Video)

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November 17, 2011
thanks for the review, you guys!
 
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More The Descendants (2011 movie) reviews
review by . September 28, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Director Alexander Payne has previously directed movies such as the cult classic Electionn starring Reese Witherspoon, which I own, About Schmidt starring Jack Nicholson, and Sideways starring Paul Giamatti, nominated for five Oscars winning one.    Gregory Peck once said it's hard to make a good man look interesting.    You can probably imagine in a cinematic world peopled with antiheroes, flawed heroes, or unrealistic superheroes, how refreshing it might …
review by . February 08, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Say YES to Hawaii
This is a movie about family, trust, betrayal and acceptance. And, it is one that's based in Hawaii.   So, for less than $10, one gets to see Hawaii and George Clooney. That's a bargain, I think! ;-)      The descendants is not a feel-good film. It is one that despite being filmed in the paradise island of Hawaii (and actually got me seriously thinking about settling down here one fine day!) it focuses on major theme of a person's life (same for most of …
review by . September 28, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Paradise offers no king immunity from care
Director Alexander Payne has previously directed movies such as the cult classic Electionn starring Reese Witherspoon, which I own, About Schmidt starring Jack Nicholson, and Sideways starring Paul Giamatti, nominated for five Oscars winning one.      Gregory Peck once said it's hard to make a good man look interesting.      You can probably imagine in a cinematic world peopled with antiheroes, flawed heroes, or unrealistic superheroes, how refreshing …
review by . February 19, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
After winning the Golden Globe for Best DramaThe Descendants have to be one of the front runners to walk away with Best Picture along with several other awards in the big night. If The Artist represents everything that is happy and good, than The Descendants may be the exact opposite. The difference in tone may decide which film walks away with the statuette. The Descendants is both funny and devastating and captures the moments in life we fear the most with eloquence.   …
review by . December 24, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
The Descendants is a beautiful film shot in Hawaii. This film showcases the beauty of Hawaii well.  I love the shots of the valleys and beaches.  I live here so this is something I see every day.  George Clooney stars as Matt King.  He is a father trying to raise his daughters after his wife goes into a coma after a boating accident.        Matt learns from his teenage daughter that his wife was carrying on an affair at the time of her accident.  …
review by . December 17, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
That's the first thing Matt King (George Clooney) wants you to get into your head. King is a real estate lawyer that just happens to be the trustee of his family's 25 pristine Kaui estate who is about to go through a valley of hardship. Spoilers included below.                                          &nbs …
Quick Tip by . August 24, 2012
Great job with blending the Hawaiian culture and people into this story about a father trying to connect with his daughters after his wife is gravely injured in a boating accident. Like with Sideways, this is a quest movie that not only carries the audience on this journey, but also shows beautiful scenery of the location the story is set.
Quick Tip by . April 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
      Pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this movie. It channels the right themes, right application of dialogue and the performances were good in a way that fit its premise. I am not a George Clooney fan, but even I have to admit that he did well in this movie. Could be his best outing since “The American” and “Up in the Air”.      The direction by Alexander Payne kept focused on the things that could’ve been; it is a story …
review by . April 22, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Somber look at a dysfunctional family
When Matt King’s (George Clooney) wife goes into a coma, he realizes how distant he was from her and from his two daughters. Then he learns his wife was cheating on him.      George Clooney plays against type as a clueless father and husband with baggy eyes and a beaten-down face. He slouches through the story and generally looks pretty ordinary. He’s good in the role, but not good enough to save the movie. My first problem with it is the constant profanity used by …
review by . February 03, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
Matt King's (George Clooney) wife Elizabeth has been in a coma in the hospital for almost four weeks. She was involved in a boating accident. Also, Matt, one of several descendants of a Hawaiian princess, is the sole trustee of a family trust that controls over 25,000 acres of untouched land on the island of Kaua'i. Matt must decide for his family what is to be done with the land. At the same time, he's given the news that his wife will never recover and she has a living will, so all …
About the reviewer
Joan & John Schwartz ()
Ranked #35
My husband (creator of the cult classic films FACES OF DEATH) andmyself (actress/screenwriter) are ex New Yorkers, see alot of films and usually disagree. So our friends decided that we need a review … more
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Director: Alexander Payne
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Release Date: 23 November 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon
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