The Descendants-Review

12 May

For some reason, I put off seeing The Descendants until this week. It might have been due to the fact that George Clooney had just come out with The Ides of March followed shortly by this one. It bothers me for some reason when actors put out work so close  together. The other reason could be that I just didn’t see Clooney as worthy for Oscar’s Best Actor. Yeah, I have liked George’s work but his characters haven’t changed that much from film to film. The other reason was the title of film, The Descendants sounded boring. You know why.

When it comes to Oscar’s Best Actor nomination, I hold a high standard with Dustin Hoffman’s role in Tootsie (82″). Yes, it has been 30 years since Jessica Lange won for her protrayal as Dustin’s love interest in Tootsie. Actually, I thought Terri Garr’s acting better deserved the Oscar over Jessica in that film. But I didn’t care much since I had a big crush on Jessica (I was only 16). Yes, Dustin lost in 82′ (by the way, I share the same birthday with him, 8/8) to Ben Kingsley who played Ghandi (that wasn’t even fair to Dustin, how can one beat Ghandi for heaven’s sake). I remember sitting in the theater for over 3 hours watching Ghandi, but it was well worth it.

I diverted as usual. The Descendants was fantastic. The film deals with Clooney’s character (Matt) dealing with life after a boating accident leaves his wife in a coma. Matt is a hard working lawyer who has sent his oldest daughter off to a private school and has spent little time with his youngest daughter. I loved how Matt brings his daughters together to deal with the tragedy. I especially enjoyed Shailene Woodley’s character, Alex, his oldest daughter. Alex really brings the trio together to face the issues confronting them. Alex’s guyfriend also lends some needed bluntness and humor to the trio as he accompanies them on their journey to deal with the truth.

What I liked most about the film was the message of how crucial it is for parents to get in touch honestly with their children. I believe that parents generally get caught up in their own lives and really don’t get to know their kids on a deeper level. In this film, Matt is humble enough to reach out for his daughters’ and guyfriend’s help and guidance which I thought was beautiful.

I still wouldn’t give the Oscar to Clooney for his role as Matt or give the movie the Oscar for Best Picture, but overall it was a very touching, moving film that I highly recommend.

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