The Descendants (2011)
Brief review: Based on Kaui Hart Hemmings' novel of the same name, "The Descendants" is an emotionally-charged dramdey, where sharp wit and fiery temper meet wisdom and prudence. It is a subtly complex, yet heartfelt and moving tale that will touch your heart, make you smile, cheer you up and even bring you to tears. The smoothly paced story is complemented by Alexander Payne's exquisitely polished direction and scored with sonorous Hawaiian music. Being shot in one of the most gorgeous and stunning locations in the world, "The Descendants" is just as visually-exuberant as it's touching and heartwarming. The Hawaiian scenery that consists of exotic verdure, vividly-colored flowers, glorious landscapes and crystal clear beaches is nothing short of breathtaking and in sync with the characters' colorful personalities. Speaking of characters, those are the true driving force of this film, and portrayed wonderfully by the featured cast. George Clooney delivers one of the best performances of his career as the struggling yet sensible father of two, who tries to deal with with several issues concerning his family and life. However, it's the rising star, Shailene Woodley, that steals the show as the expansive and temperamental, yet intelligent older daughter, Alexandra. The sweet Amara Miller gives a lively and likable performance as the little Scottie, and the supporting cast does a splendid job.