Clooney is King

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH



★★★★★ ■

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

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