The greatness of the movie, let alone the greatness of George Clooney’s’ acting is extremely hard for me to zero in on as I experienced the wonders of THE DESCENDANTS. Of course with time I realized that my expectations were set so high by its 2 wins at last week’s Golden Globes that I was expecting a perfect 10. I have never seen nor rated a movie personally a perfect 10 and I am still clueless as to why expected a perfect 10. This is what I did next. I shut the movie off and went to bed and sat down to watch it first thing in the morning with a fresh mind and without any expectations as all.

 The star Clooney is not a star today. This is the most vulnerable I have seen him and also it’s the first time I am seeing him out of a suit. I have seen Clooney run in THE AMERICAN and I am watching him run in THE DESCENDANTS and that’s when it’s struck he actually acted a run! Had this been played by someone else, I am not certain if the award for best actor would have been bagged in this motion picture. After all who ever starred instead of George Clooney would go head on with the Driver aka Ryan Gosling for the award!

 Moving on, this vulnerable Honolulu attorney aka Matt King ( George Clooney) who has been neglecting his wife over the past 6 months sits by her death bed as she spends her time  fitted onto a life preserving contraption and in a coma following a motor boat accident. Matt who has 2 daughters; Scottie ( Amara Miller) aged 10 and Alex ( Shailene Woodley) aged 17 has no idea as to how to function as a parent since Elizabeth ( Patricia Hastle) his wife took on the burden of raising the children almost on her own. Matt admits in a narrative that he is the backup parent, the understudy. Alexander Payne directs THE DESCENDANTS with a deep understanding of the idea of disturbance. When Matt’s wife gets into a coma he doesn’t allow Matt to just focus on one aspect, instead he makes Scottie the naughtiest possible 10 year old to father and he brings the 17 year old Alex as an abuser of drugs, alcohol and boys. How can one man handle all this at the same time and not breakdown in despair? When Matt falls down on his knees on his own driveway and lifts his head back up at the camera is when for the first time I was certain that Clooney indeed deserved to be awarded best actor at the globes.

 If you think that this is all that comes along Matt’s way, it most certainly isn’t. Matt King is a descendant of royal Hawaiian blood. His great great grandmother was a Hawaiian princess who married a banker and along with that passed on an inheritance of 25,000 acres of land on Kauai Island. Matt as the primary beneficiary has to make a choice if he is to preserve this great inheritance or sell it to a greedy bunch of developers breathing down his back in order to build the next resort in Hawaii. To add the final pinch of salt to this already well brewed soup of events is the final surprise that his daughter Alex breaks out to him.

 THE DESCENDANTS is a movie that will play along close to your heart and make you feel for the King family during the time of turmoil as they fight the world and the hardships of losing a loved one. Many would call this a must watch, instead I would prefer to call this a sad to be missed motion picture.


Directed by: Alexander Payne

Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause and Patricia Hastle.

Rated: R for language including some sexual references

Rating: 08/10

115 minutes