Clooney is King
THE DESCENDANTS ( M)
Director: Alexander Payne ( Election ) Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause Can a family that’s strayed wherever, stick together? ANOTHER superlative anchoring performance from Golden Globe winner George Clooney.
Another intricate blend of evocative drama and humour from writer- director Alexander Payne ( Sideways, About Schmidt ). It’s all here in The
Descendants, as is so much more. Clooney plays Matt King, an Hawaiian property lawyer thrown for a loop on the eve of a deal of a lifetime.
With his wife in a coma after a boating mishap, the long- time workaholic must quickly re- connect with his two daughters – each of whom respects him little and knows him even less.
Ten- year- old Scottie ( Amara Miller) was a touch weird before her mother’s accident but is now full- on odd.
Matt is at a loss as to how to win her over, so he recalls teenage daughter Alexandra ( Shailene Woodley) from boarding school for assistance. She is still coming down off mild addictions ‘‘ to drugs and older guys’’. That’s as Matt sees it, anyway.
And as The Descendants moves towards a scenario in which Mrs King may be leaving the picture permanently, we pick up hints that Matt has never been the most reliable observer of life in his own household.
The characters, issues and events depicted in The Descendants are dealt with in a such a matter- of- fact way that some viewers could take for granted the sheer excellence in play.
In particular, several island- hopping changes of setting across the breadth of Hawaii shift the mood of the picture in subtle, telling ways. Each region represents the solitary, floating state of being that affects each member of the King clan differently.
The film covers a wide spectrum of emotions in a warm and accessible manner, and not a false note is struck.
With Golden Globes for best motion picture and best actor under its belt, The
Descendants will be a sure- fire contender come Oscars time. But why wait until then?
Now showing State and Village cinemas