Starring George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Beau Bridges, Judy Greer, Nick Krause, Amara Miller, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster, Patricia Hastie, Mary Birdsong, Rob Huebel, Milt Kogan, Laird Hamilton, Michael Ontkean, Matt Corboy, Celia Kenney
Directed by Alexander Payne
Expectations: High, but guarded. Trailer looked boring.
The Descendants is the type of movie I would never actively go out to see in theaters. Not only were the trailers uninteresting, from what I heard of the story it didn’t sound like it would resonate with me. Within this thought lies my wrongdoing, because not only did The Descendants resonate, the issues it deals with transcend the plot specifics of the film and work on a deep, human level. The Descendants also trades in witty, off-beat comedy and by bringing these two disparate elements together, it creates an excellent window into real life. It’s still a Hollywood-produced film so it’s not truly realistic, but the emotions expressed are real and palpable throughout the film.
The Descendants tells the story of Matt King (George Clooney) and his family’s struggle to deal with his wife Elizabeth’s boating accident. It has left her in a coma, with limited chance of survival, and Matt is having a hard time coming to terms with what that means for his life. Caring for their two daughters has always fallen on Elizabeth, so the thought of having to raise his daughters alone frightens him.