Thursday, January 26, 2012

[Review] The Descendants

I'm quite sure you've already heard about The Descendants being nominated in the upcoming (Oscars) Academy Awards [edit] and its wins in the Golden Globes. If that wasn't reason enough for you to go see it, well, I don't know how else to convince you.

I wouldn't have known about this movie had it not been nominated for several Oscars. (I'm not sure if there are any advertisements on TV here to promote the movie - as I am still undecided on whether to buy a TV for my room.) But, after having seen the movie, I'm quite pleased that it got the nominations and won some awards.

This movie deserves to be bought on Blu-ray and kept in the archives for late-night family movies.

I tweeted after watching the movie that it's a very lighthearted drama - which seems kind of like an oxymoron for me, but that's the best way I could describe it. There were a lot of scenes that made me teary-eyed only several moments later some witty and funny remark is given and suddenly, it's not all too bad/sad.

I felt as if the movie does not aim for anything e.g. make you sad or happy. It doesn't feel like it's pushing for anything to the audience to swallow accept. For me, the movie just aims to tell a story. And, it's a wonderful and touching story at that. I won't go into details on the story as it might spoil you, but here's a quote from IMDB on the synopsis:

"A land baron tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident."

And from
From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries. -- (C) Fox Searchlight

George Clooney shines through with his acting. In a lot scenes that did not involve dialogue, you can feel the emotion (the situation calls for) from him. It reminded me of my admiration for Ryan Gosling in Drive - where it was the same - just acting - no dialogue and only facial and body expressions to work with in delivery. He doesn't go overboard or over-act. He shows the caliber of being one of the veteran actors in Hollywood.

As for George Clooney's elder daughter - Shailene Woodley (I had to research who she was haha), she was also very effective as a supporting character to George. Her outburst scene underwater after hearing that her mother will die and that the life-support will be removed in a matter of days was one of the scenes that moved me the most. I can only imagine how many scenes it took for her, but, well - like I said, her scene struck me the most. It's how I imagine my reaction will be (minus the pool and being underwater) if and when that time comes for me - the despair, the confusion and the feeling of loss given that much has been left unsaid.

Overall, it's a touching story of how a family that grew apart (primarily because of George being too busy with work) ended up picking the pieces and uniting together - because of a familial loss. The story unfolded itself at the right pace and allowed the actors to shine through.

Hahaha, well I'm no critic so take my word with a grain of salt; see it for yourself and decide. :)

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