The Descendants is one of the most highly hyped movies of the year, and rightly so. Starring George Clooney, not as a heartthrob, but as a workaholic lawyer husband who has until now, neglected his familial duties. That is, until his wife Elizabeth gets into a boating accident that puts her in a coma with a foreseeably fatal outcome.
Clooney plays Matt King, emotionally absent husband and father who, after the tragic accident, must step in as the responsible, care giving adult to his two daughters. This is clearly a role Matt is unprepared for, particularly while he’s preoccupied with finalizing a substantial real estate deal on his family’s behalf that will leave them all filthy rich. To make matters worse, his oldest daughter Alexandra (Shailene Woodley), in a fit of rage at her mother’s predicament, reveals to Matt that Elizabeth was cheating on him and had planned to leave him.
Matt and Alexandra, accompanied by younger daughter Scottie (Amara Miller) and Alexandra’s male friend Sid (Nick Krause) embark on a journey to find “the other man” (Matthew Lillard) so that he may, if desired, say goodbye to Elizabeth.
The Descendantsis a beautifully written story, no surprise coming from Alexander Payne, who’s both written and directed works like Sideways and About Schmidt. With beautiful Hawaii as the backdrop and fantastic breakout performances by Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, and Nick Krause, this film takes its viewers on an emotional rollercoaster ride as the Kings experience life in its purest forms: raw, unpredictable, heartbreaking, funny, and hopeful.
Clooney excels as an average Joe dealing with tragedy, infidelity, greedy family, and growing young girls. The situations he encounters are at times heartbreaking, but always believable. Payne did a great job of perfectly timing the comic relief so that it offsets the most dramatic moments of tension.
The Descendants was the Big Night premiere for the 34th annual Starz Denver Film Festival. Actress Judy Greer, a star in the film, was in town to promote The Descendants and another film she’s in, Jeff, Who Lives at Home. Judy was also the recipient of the John Cassavetes Award, the first actress ever to receive.
CLICK HERE FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH JUDY GREER WHILE SHE WAS IN DENVER.
Click here for Denver Metro showtimes for The Descendants.
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