Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Descendants

This is my favorite movie of Oscar season. Knowing what other movies are out there to see, I imagine this will remain the case. There is always at least one gem of a movie I did not know much about before and really love so I have that to look forward to, not sure what it will be. As far as the big dogs go, Best Picture and acting contenders, the Descendants is it.

Clooney is fantastic as Hawaiian native, attorney and self-described "back-up" parent. The movie deals with very difficult and emotional issues yet is laugh out funny throughout. The movie was directed and written by Alexander Payne (Sideways, Election). Fun fact, Payne is one of very few directors who has final cut over his films.
Shailene Woodley gives a breakout performance as Clooney's eldest, rebellious daughter. Judy Greer is phenomenal in the most serious role I have seen her in (redeems a year when she was cast as the wife/ex-wife of Ashton Kutcher's man-child character on Two and a Half Men. You're better than that Judy!). Matthew Lillard is also seen in his most dramatic role to date -- Shaggy did good. Nick Krause rounds out a strong supporting cast as Clooney's oldest daughter's friend Sid. Beau Bridges also has a brief but significant role.

The movie was filmed on location in Hawaii and is beautiful. Much of the movie takes place in Oahu. I was lucky enough to stay on Oahu for two weeks the summer before my senior year of high school. I was also lucky enough to really experience Hawaiian life by staying at the home of my friend's grandfather, not at a resort, not in Honolulu or Waikiki. My tourist-y activities were limited, and wonderfully, to one day. The culture as portrayed in the movie is strikingly accurate.

An excellent, excellent movie all around.

1 comment:

  1. Cool picture!

    I agree with you - the movie was great! i loved it way more than I thought I would!