The Descendants is the tale of a man named Matt King who is involved in one of Hawaii’s biggest land deals, all while dealing with his wife being in a coma. There are two main stars of this film; George Clooney and Hawaii. Hawaii isn’t presented as the dream destination which we usually see in movies. But instead we see Hawaii as an actual place where people live. And their lives are very similar to the lives of us mainlanders… only tweaked with very slight differences. (Do people there REALLY wear Hawaiian shirts that much?)
This movie is great to watch for two reasons; the performances and the script. And the two really go hand in hand. The actors here do a great job with some already great dialogue. Its a unique situation Matt and his daughters are put in, and its extremely interesting to watch and see how they handle it.
Whats really great about the performances is that we the audience really get the feeling that these characters have relationships which have been formed and existed long before the events in the movie began. This makes them feel authentic. Whether its Matt and his daughter Alex, or Matt and his two friends, we really get the sense that these people have known each other for many years, and we are just getting a peak into their suddenly complicated lives.
Like Alexander Payne’s previous film Sideways, The Descendants is a mature story with speaks more to the adult sensibilities in us. There’s nothing here very outstanding of shocking, its just consistently good. Sometimes its just really nice to watch an intelligently written story about real people, and this is definitely a good one.