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Saturday, February 4, 2012

[8.00/10] The Descendants (2011)


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.

Overall summary: Boasting a smoothly elegant direction, touching script, picturesque scenery and bravura performances from Clooney and Woodley, "The Descendants" is wise, witty, amusing, heartfelt, affecting, funny, exhilarating and visually-ravishing all at the same time.

12 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I wasn't really interested in this one, despite the fact I try to catch as many of the Best Picture Nominees before the Oscars, but I might have to watch this film now.

InfinitePlans said...

Definitely checking this one out.

Nebular said...

Alex, I don't think it's your type of movie, but if you're in the right mood and think you might enjoy it a lot. Not the best movie of the year, but definitely one of the better.

Nebular said...

InfinitePlans, see it as soon as you can, it's great. :)

farawayeyes said...

I had thought I wanted to see this one, now I know I do.

Melissa Bradley said...

So Clooney gets a good review from you, eh? LOL Just kidding. I love this review and cannot wait to see this movie. I just may have to catch it on DVD, though. It looks spectacular from the trailer, clips and now, your review.

Nebular said...

farawayeyes, if your local theater still shows it go see it as soon as you can. And hey, it's being filmed in Hawaii, so you know what to expect in terms of visuals. :)

Nebular said...

Mel, yep belive it or not Clooney got thumbs up form me for his performance. I can not believe it either. LOL.

Thanks, sweetheart. I was really inspired by the film, so I think my review turned out well. I'm pleased with it as well as the movie.

Rick said...

we actually pay for movie and book reviews over at White Cat Magazine. I'll have to have our editor contact you. You do a great job.

Nebular said...

Rick, are you serious? If I get paid for my movie reviews, that would be a dream come true. You really made my day. I hope that your editor will contact me real soon. Looking forward to it. :) Thanks!

Maynard Morrissey said...

I've seen it yesterday and it deeply, deeply impressed me. Clooney's performances are always fantastic, but here he's almost mindblowing. Direction and script are amazing, the other performances are terrific (especially Clooney's older daughter), the whole movie looks just stunning and I really loved the melancholic Hawaiian music.

Best of all: how realistic the whole movie felt. This is not your average Hollywood-Kitsch, this is a movie about real people who experience real tragedies, making real decisions. I cared about every single character, I could connect with every character, I understood every character.

This film really, really touched me and actually, next to "The Diving Bell And The Butterfly", it's the only movie in my entire life that brought me to tears. A tremendous masterpiece. Nuff said :)

Nebular said...

Maynard, I didn't think it was necessarily a masterpiece, but it was incredible for what it was. Clooney is a very talented as a director, but as an actor his performances are pretty much similar. He can't escape from his manners and expressions, that's why it feels like he always plays the same character - himself. Here, he puts more effort in his performance and the result is brilliant.

Woodley blew me away though. She was real, honest and charismatic. Loved her. The scenery was stunning indeed, but I didn't think of the Hawaiian music as melancholic. I found it rather enjoyable, even hypnotic. Glad you enjoyed it that much, buddy. :)