The Descendants – Familie und andere Angelegenheiten (2011)

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The Descendants – Familie und andere Angelegenheiten: Directed by Alexander Payne. With George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause. A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

“The Descendants (2011)u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWow, lots of great sharp close-ups of George Clooney. And a wonderful place to set a movie, contemporary Hawaii, not just the surf and nature scene, but the reality, too, of family and people interacting casually.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThereu0026#39;s a forced plot here, a do good situation where some precious Hawaiian land is in danger of being developed, and you know almost from the first minute itu0026#39;s mentioned what the outcome will be. Thereu0026#39;s a second plot, too, which is more intense, having to do with an affair that gets uncovered and Clooneyu0026#39;s sense of discovery and retribution for it.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eBut what is supposed to be the main point of the movie, in terms of emotional intensity at least, is the trickiest and maybe the thinnest: Clooneyu0026#39;s wife is in a coma and is set to have her life support unplugged and then shortly die. His two daughters are supposed to be mischief makers of the worst sort (unconvincingly) and the drama of the oncoming death and the affair discovered during the midst of it all makes the father and daughters reconsider each other.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSounds good but it only goes so far. Which is to say itu0026#39;s not a bad movie at all, just nothing that rises above. The one mention during, say, Academy Awards month was that Clooneyu0026#39;s performance was standout. And it was, though not any more than other Clooney performances, restrained and consummately professional the same way Tom Hanks is. Which is often just a hair short of the breathtaking stuff others pull off at their best.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThe best part of the movie is probably just the relative accuracy of the local Hawaiian culture, relaxed and appreciative but also caught up in the usual material and family concerns of any other U.S. locale.”


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