The Descendants (2011) – USA
“Matt King: Paradise can go fuck itself!”
This is a delightful film to watch. It is wonderfully paced, well directed and an excellent cast to the boot. The Descendants is not a simple film, but ones that deals with complicated emotions and how people deal with life, when it gives them the lemon plus a little more. Set in the paradise state of Hawaii, the story of George Clooney’s character is nothing, but paradise. What made this such a pleasing experience is the manner in which the director just eases the audience into the movie. This is an unique and effective way to keep the audience engaged without over-stuffing them with intoxicating details or dialogue.
George Clooney performs outstandingly well in most likely his career best against the usual type display as the conflicted father dealing with family issues, business, potential death of his wife as well as the shattering news of knowing his wife was having an affair. None of these are forced upon the audience, but rather Clooney uses emotions, happenings, surrounding and even a road trip to let the audience into the movie and experience the experiences with him. Shailene Woodley who plays the daughter here is an absolute delight to watch. Let’s hope she continues her natural screen presence into a good career. She is certainly one to watch in the coming years ahead.
All in all, The Descendants is a wonderful movie, a little tragic, a little emotional, a little bit of heart and a little bit of fun. It is a delightful yet unfortunate piece of drama that allows the actors to immerse into their roles as they slowly creeps into the minds of the audience and ultimately somehow winning their hearts along the way. The film feels like a journey and by the end of the credits, there is something refreshing about this film that makes it better than it is. Maybe it is George Clooney or maybe it is just the human condition, but whatever it is, The Descendants is a fine film to boot…
Neo rates it 9/10