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The Descendants

The Descendants

Genders: Drama, Comedy

Director: Alexander Payne

Writer: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon

Actors: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause

Year: 2011
Run time: 1h 55min
IMDB score: 7.4
Updated: 2 years ago

Movie infomation

Movie name: The Descendants

Genders: Drama, Comedy

Imdb Score: 7.4

Runtime: 1h 55min

Released: 09 Dec 2011

Director: Alexander Payne

Writer: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon

Actors: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause

Box Office: $82.6M

Company: Fox Searchlight Pictures

OfficialWebsite

Imdb Link

The Descendants Available Subtitles

English subtitles The Descendants2 years ago
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Portuguese subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
Arabic subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
Chinese subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
Indonesian subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
Greek subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
Chinese subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
Brazilian Portuguese subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
Serbian subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
Italian subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
French subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
Spanish subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
Dutch subtitles The Descendants4 years ago
English subtitles The Descendants5 years ago

Trailer


Review

A movie that you do NOT want to end...

9/10 The director of this movie, Alexander Payne, was the guy who made "Sideways." This is a very different movie in that it focuses on family relationships rather than those between friends and lovers. But, Payne displays--in this touching and very real movie--the same incredible talent for doing two things better than almost every other movie maker (at least as far as I'm concerned): 1) he brings the viewer into the geography and milieu of the time and place in a gritty way that clearly presents the natural beauty of the area without over-romanticizing it and 2) he fits the characters into this environment and achieves a reality for these people that transcends the 2-dimensional characters that populate the multiplexes. You really care about these people.

Another similarity between the characters in "Sideways" and this movie is that the protagonists are, in at least one important way, lost. They both are also honest with themselves.

And thank God Payne did not use an orchestra for the soundtrack that would foreshadow and punctuate the scenes telling us how our emotions should run...I will not tell you what the soundtrack is, other than to say it's perfect.

This is not a comedy though there are a few laugh lines. Clooney will get the Oscar for this...how can he not? He is in every scene, and I cannot imagine him being better. And Shailene Woodley plays his older daughter: just amazing. A beautifully realized character.

I tried carefully here to give nothing away but to encourage you to see this as soon as you can. Brilliant.

4 years ago

The Descendants is an outstanding and touching drama

9/10 The Descendants is a tragic and heartfelt family drama set against a backdrop of the sights and sounds of modern Hawaii. The music is wonderful, and the scenery of several Hawaiian islands is amazing.

George Clooney is outstanding as the father of a family torn apart by tragedy. His character deals with unsettling secrets of his dying wife and his broken relationships with his two troubled daughters. Forced to deal with the consequences of neglecting his family, Clooney does a great job capturing conflicting and powerful emotions.

Shailone Woodley does a wonderful job as the rebellious older daughter, who captures the anger and hurt of a teenager betrayed by her mother and abandoned by her father. Her relationship with her father is the heart of the movie, and they slowly learn to rely on each other for support and strength in dealing with the loss of their mother/wife.

The film has a wonderful supporting cast that adds humanity and heart to the tragic story. Nick Krause stands out as the oldest daughter's friend, who adds a touch of laughter and perspective to the film. His open and carefree personality grates on the characters initially but helps them to eventually gain perspective on the tragic events.

Overall, the Descendants was an excellent movie that captures the raw emotions of a family dealing with betrayal, pain, and loss and learning to draw together for love and support.

4 years ago

One of 2011's best

9/10 The Descendants is not a movie that's easily defined. In the macro view, it's about a man grieving for his wife, who lies in a coma from which she may never emerge, while simultaneously attempting to care for his two rambunctious daughters, each of whom is nearly alien to the workaholic man. But don't hastily dismiss this as a tearjerker about some guy coming to grips with mortality and/or learning a little something about himself along the way. This is a movie that runs the gamut of emotions, with pristine sincerity, grace, dignity, and rich realism.

Matt King (George Clooney) is the workaholic, a lawyer who lives in Hawaii. He has a good life - at least until his thrill-seeking wife suffers a serious head injury during a powerboat race, placing her in a deep coma. Matt's orderly life is no more. He must not only deal with the fact that he may never speak with his wife again, he must also learn an entirely new way of life - one with a domestic tinge. As wife Elizabeth's condition deteriorates, Matt must also deal with family and friends and open doors he never knew existed. All right, that's sort of cryptic, so let me give you this tidbit that is in no way a secret in the plot - Elizabeth, Matt shortly discovers, was having an affair at the time of her accident.

On top of all of that stress and drama, Matt is the sole trustee of a huge plot of land that has been a part of his family for a very, very long time. He and his cousins have decided to field offers for the land, because the trust becomes dissolved in seven short years. Should they sell to the highest bidder or to a local businessman? Either outcome would leave all of them very rich indeed. The sale of the land will make a huge impact on the island, as it could transform what many see as a beautiful, nearly untouched mark of beauty into a symbol of avarice and decadence.

The core of the entire story is Clooney's unbelievably terrific performance; he is vulnerable, strong, confused, decisive, anguished, angry. It's not every actor who can pull off such a wide range of expression, and Clooney is so effective in this movie that you sincerely feel as if you are standing directly in his shoes, seeing all from his perspective rather than just through his eyes. To say that Clooney's Matt is troubled is an understatement, but what makes this performance so remarkable to me is that at no time does he have all of the answers, and at no time does he have no answers at all. He is, to put it another way, us.

The tremendous amount of pressure under which Matt finds himself is exacerbated by his daughters' behavior; partly their reaction to their mother's plight but also because, well, they're precocious and self- absorbed, as most kids are when they're teens or preteens. Add in Matt's cluelessness about how to take care of girls; then you have a real recipe for a wacky sitcom, don't you? Only here it's as real as it gets. First there's 10 year old Scotti (newcomer Amara Miller), who acts out in class - including bringing in pictures of her comatose mother for show and tell. Scotti seems like a girl who just hasn't had enough of a male influence in her short life; you get the impression that Mom was the one who took care of the kids while Dad worked and worked. As a result, Scotti is combining typical rebellious behavior with confusion on how she should feel about her mother's being in a coma. Then there's Alexandra, currently away at boarding school; for her, you get the clear impression that she's a real problem child who's used to being shunted from school to school, like a queen of diamonds in a marked-up deck. She's away when the accident occurs; Matt retrieves her (discovering she's as wild as always) and necessarily leans on her to help him deal with his various problems.

Rest assured, there are moments that will jerk tears from you. However, director Alexander Payne does an amazing job of keeping everything level. This isn't a four-hankie movie, because life isn't a four-hankie movie. Life has its terrible moments and its joyous ones, too, and this film emulates that layer of authenticity to really deliver an emotionally powerful, provocative, and endearing story.

This isn't a movie you can just grab the kids and some popcorn and be lightly entertained, but it's also not a Think Hard movie. It's somewhere in the middle - again, much like life. Payne and cowriters Nat Faxon and Jim Rash allow us to become psychologically engaged with everything concerning Matt and his family. We're with him so much that when he makes a blunder, we think to ourselves that we'd probably make the same blunder. It's a pleasure to see a movie in which the protagonist clearly doesn't have all of the answers, even to the easy questions, but has some answers to the hard ones. And that's why this is a hard movie to pigeonhole, and it's also why it's such a beautiful, artful film.

4 years ago

Emotionally hollow and, even worse, boring

2/10 This movie was a bust. The premise is simple—unbelievably simple, given the length of the movie: a man's wife goes into a coma as the result of a boating accident and he learns, via one of his daughters, that she was having an affair. There's more to it, of course, but nothing interesting: e.g., Clooney in voice-over tells us he's "the back up parent," so we see a few scenes of him failing at being "Mr. Mom" and a few scenes of him fighting with his eldest daughter. Yet, remarkably, a half-hour into the movie the entire family is getting along so well that they all troop off to a different Hawaiian island in search of the mystery man Mom was having the affair with, with the oldest daughter even playing a lead detective role.

What unfolds is hour upon hour of the family walking on beaches, driving down roads, etc., all of which culminates in a kitchen scene where Clooney confronts the man, played by Matt Lillard, about the affair. Lillard, whose acting has not deepened from his Scooby-Doo days, ensures that the scene has no dramatic impact. Then it's back to the hospital to watch Mom die.

The script is unbelievably flat-footed; its idea of humor is having children shout profanity at each other. (I'm no prude—-but I'm not 12, either.) There's even an odd disconnect to the more "dramatic" scenes. Because we've never seen anyone interact with Mom—she's just a corpse, lying there—we have no way of judging the believability of anyone's reaction to her death. We're simply bludgeoned by the musical score into accepting that any given scene is sad. The movie operates on a simple syllogism: the characters are crying, so you should too.

Still, judging by the audience's reaction, this movie will be a major success. I'm enough of an adult to admit when I'm odd-man-out. At each curse word, the audience roared with laughter; for each tear-jerker scene, the waterworks flowed. The Hawaiian landscape is beautifully shot, and the Hawaiian music is lovely, too. Unfortunately, I didn't pay $9.50 for a travelogue.

4 years ago

Was honestly expecting more

7/10 This is a great movie, no doubt about it. But given the combination of golden globe, Oscar buzz and positive feedback on IMDb, I expected much more.

The story and the premise of the movie is perfect. In fact, the tagline caught my attention enormously: "trying to reconnect with daughters." That is exactly the type of movie I like. Instantly, I could tell this was a movie about character development and human connection, usually the type of movies with the greatest potential.

Unfortunately, it was merely decent, but not special. It felt like the movie built up so much potential, but failed to release it at a certain point during the movie. The whole movie, for me, felt too introductory in nature. Not necessarily the plot, because the plot does evolve, but the overall "feel" of the movie felt preliminary to a bigger and more dramatic event which never happened.

It's not easy to explain my feelings towards the movie because the fault wasn't necessarily technical or specific. But it did linger around and distracted my viewing somewhat. I felt like there was still more to explore in both Clooney's character and the character of his daughters. Also, I think this element alone impacted on Clooney's performance. His performance was good, definitely, but again, because I felt like there was more to be explored, naturally, I also felt like his performance could have been added to (but not necessarily improved).

Given the Oscar buzz of this movie, I have to compare it to other movies of a similar nature. And unfortunately, I didn't feel like there was sufficient connection between the characters...although the potential to reach that connection was established, it was not acted upon in my opinion. Unfortunately I have to say there have been better developed "re-establishing connection" movies.

In summary, this is an enjoyable movie, but it is missing some important elements which deteriorates the viewing experience to some extent.

4 years ago