Friday, December 23, 2011

The Descendants (2011)

Director: Alexander Payne. Cast: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Beau Bridges, Robert Forster. 115 min. Rated R. Drama.

"People who don't live in Hawaii think Hawaiian life is perfect; nothing but surfing, relaxing, and happiness ... while the life of an islander is just as stressful, the cancers are just as deadly, and life is as complex and frustrating as anywhere else. People think Hawaii is paradise. Paradise? Paradise can go f--k itself."

And with that to-the-point opening monologue starts another Alexander Payne melodrama, similar to (and almost as powerful as) About Schmidt, where a flawed hero discovers the heartbreaking/infuriating extramarital affair of his dead/dying spouse too late, and struggles with the ambivalence that comes along with it. Payne's slow rhythm is anything but boring, as we're constantly dealt the most extreme of human emotions - so have some napkins handy. While Clooney's Oscar nomination won't be surprising, I'm eager to see how the Academy rewards Woodley's breakthrough performance as the teenage daughter.

Mo says:



  1. The most intersting concept in the movie for me was when this sentence was said : She is not here to defend herself “…this is the exact point Asghar Farhady beautifully mentioned in “About Eli” 2-3 years ago…
    the fact that : Judgement is not terminated because the accused is not able to respond to accusation" "the court is not over " " The file is not closed"
    the meaning is so deep that I am not able to get out of my mind…
    The director point out the same previously in "About Schmitt" but I'm more concerned here by expanding the subject in particular and in a modern trend.
    One of the most capturing characters played by G. Clonney. I was wondering how he could present such cool,comic and touching lover so far.
    * * *
    Anyway , I saw " The girl with dragon tatto"....looking forward your comment....I had some delimma about plot,mixing items and details and need some help!
    ... I guess you are preparing your list of the best of 2011,right?I'm so eager to see your final choices.We have a number of good works this year.

  2. Interesting. Even though I watched "About Elly" again a few nights ago, that common point never came to my mind. I guess it's all about preserving a person's image after their dead, and whether it's really important or not. Up till now, I was quite ignorant to its importance.

    The most powerful moment of the movie that impacted me, was when Clooney was saying farewell to his wife: "Goodbye ... my joy ... my pain ..." - with a tear I've never seen Clooney shed before! Heartbreaking.

    I've already spent more than 10 hours on the original Swedish "Dragon Tatoo" trilogy, and I was trying to avoid the American remake, ... but you're the nth person who's recommending me to see it! Hoepfully soon.

    And like always, I'll my top 10 the night before the Oscar nominations are announced. I've already lined up 7 great movies.