maandag 16 juni 2014

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 74: The Descendants

Director: Alexander Payne
Genre: Drama/ Komedie
Runtime: 115 minutes
Year: 2011
Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Judy Greer, Matthew Lillard, Beau Bridges
Description: With his wife Elizabeth on life support after a boating accident, Hawaiian land baron Matt King (George Clooney) takes his daughters on a trip from Oahu to Kauai to confront the man who was having an affair with Elizabeth before her misfortune.

Review: There are many reasons why it’s fun to be George Clooney. Women love him, men would want to trade with him, he is rich and he has the best job in the world: filmmaking. But there are also a lot of negatives to his life. Clooney is famous, that it’s sometimes impossible for him to get lost in a character. But nowadays he decides to work with directors like Joel and Ethan Coen, Anton Corbijn and Jason Reitman. In “The Descendants” it’s Alexander Payne, and his role gave him a Golden Globe and Academy Award nomination. It seems like George Clooney is more an actor then a star now.
We know Payne from tragicomedies like “About Schmidt” and “Sideways”. Like both films “The Descendants” centers a middle-aged man, who is on a crossroads in his life. They realize that they have failed and want to make it right. Matt King on the other hand, doesn’t realize he has failed. And his life is turned upside down when he finds out that his wife, who is in the hospital after a waterski accident, had an affair. Not to mention how he’s trying to be a good dad for his two daughters.
Alexander Payne finds the right balance between drama and comedy, without overdoing one of the two genres. The humor is subtle and the drama is light. George Clooney is very convincing and sometimes says it all with his facial expressions. The young Shailene Woodley is also great, with some really strong scenes. The only thing missing is and edge, what “About Schmidt” did have. It’s all a bit too neat.
Great acting, a perfect movie for award season. I liked it, it touched me.

Rating: 4,5 / 5

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