Movie – The Descendants

I’ve come a long way since avoiding George Clooney films. It all started with seeing ‘Michael Clayton’ on my birthday in San Francisco as there was nothing else I wanted to watch and I’ve enjoyed ‘The Men Who Stare at Goats’ since. I don’t care for ‘Up in the Air’ though. And I still draw the line at Mr Pitts’ films.

The story is of man coping with his wife in a coma after a boating accident. Matt King (Clooney) lives a relatively charmed life in Hawaii as a lawyer with a considerable heritance in the way of land owned through generations of his family for which he is the trustee. The accident happens whilst going through negotiations to sell the land and as King finds himself ’getting to know his daughters again.’

So far it’s a Hollywood cliché but for once, annoying rich brats become likeable quite quickly. After dragging the older daughter home from her expensive school, she reveals her mother’s affair to King and of course the tone of the film changes. The marriage clearly wasn’t a strong one but I’m glad he hated (a strong word, I know) his wife for her betrayal, despite the fact that she is being kept alive by machines.

The film moves along well with the flurry of stories; finding out more about the wife’s lover (what’s the male word for ‘mistress’? Is there one?), negotiating for the sale of land, mending the family and of course dealing with a potential bereavement. There are plenty of family characters to keep us interested and despite the sadness, the film has humour throughout.

The Oscar fuss over this one hasn’t hyped it up unduly although I don’t think its Oscar material myself, but then as has been proven time and time again on these pages, what do I know about film?

I’m not sure whether to give it a 7.5 or 8.

7½/10 (TBC)

Smile factor 8½/10

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