Directed by Alexander Payne and based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.Starring, George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause and Ben Foster. The story follows a man who, after his wife is put into a coma after a boating accident only to find out she was cheating on him, has to now reconnect with his daughters.
A lot of hype was made about this film following its oscar nominations. I was unconvinced as this seemed to be another soppy love story which I had no interest in. However after watching this when it arrived at my house, I can happily say I was mistaken.
This film has heart and soul, it’s not the most uplifting or happy story to watch. Though this is broken by moments of comedy which are well timed, the cast is very strong with some excellent performances from the younger cast members. What I like about this film in particular is that with so many films where the location is beautiful they fail to create fully functioning in depth characters. The Descendents breaks this mould with some really in depth people, clearly it helps when there is a book behind this out laying all the characters for you and all you have to do is try your best to follow the adaptation.
It’s a film with heart and realism, it’s neither the other the top hollywood touch which boarders on making it a tv soap or cheesy one liners, but neither does it underplay it. Holding the actors back in case the truth is too harmful to the viewers to see people in pain, this film is the right balance of all that.
There are some incredibly satisfying moments to watch, particularly between Clooney and the made he is after.
Indeed from a reaction point of view they have done this almost perfectly, both the reactions physically and emotionally. Now was Clooney worthy of his oscar nomination after watching this film, sadly I would have to disagree. We know Clooney is a fantastic actor, no doubt. However there were some stronger roles and performances that were over looked this year, namely Mr Gosling in Drive as just one of his roles. Clooney is fantastic in this, no doubt, but for an oscar i’m not sure.
As for best film, though I did enjoy this film hugely, I did not think it was the best of the year. One of the major reasons is because it was a play the same note film, baring one or two comedy scenes it is an emotional film with very few surprises . More the trailers fault then anything.
The Chemistry on set is excellent, between Clooney and the girls, you actually believe they could be a family. However one problem I have with this is when we finally meet the man having the affair with Clooney’s wife in the film, when they stand next to each other, it’s kind of hard to believe that she chose this guy other Clooney? little implausible I have to say.
This film has many things going for it, the cast is excellent, as well as the script, the place looks beautiful. The only draw backs are the predictability of the film, the small amount of notes played in this.
OVERALL **** it’s an excellent film, not quite worthy of the oscar nominations it was given but still very good. I would highly recommend this film, although I will insist you bring tissues with you.