George Clooney gives probably the most real performance of his life as he tries to coup with his ill wife and the distance he’s created with his kids in one of the year’s best films. My review of The Descendants.
George Clooney has a very very very successful career already. He’s set when it comes to getting in the Hall of Fame if there were one for actors. But luckily for the rest of us he continues to send out gold and he strikes again in The Descendants. Clooney plays Matt King, a lawyer who lives in Oahu, Hawaii. His wife has recently been in a boating accident which has resulted in her being in a coma. Matt is not a dad who is always around as work keeps him occupied most of the time and having to deal with this tragedy with his two daughter creates a challenge for him because he has no idea how to manage them on his own. He has Scottie (Amara Miller), the youngest, and Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) the oldest. When Matt receives news that his wife is not doing great he decides to go and get Alexandra from the boarding school she is attending in Hawaii. Once Alexandra enters the picture, all hell breaks loose with the family. Alexandra is foul-mouthed and very out-spoken towards her father and once Matt breaks the bad news to her she struggles to cope with the news due to a riff she had with her mother that was never really resolved. Woodley plays Alexandra extremely well and should at least get considered for a Supporting Actress award depending on the depth of the talent pool. Alexandra breaks more bad news to Matt when she tells him that his wife had been cheating on him and that that was the cause of her riff with her mother, she had been defending him. Matt then starts a wild goose chase to find this mystery lover of his ill wife. With all of this swirling around, Matt also has to manage a land deal with his family over a large sum of land that they have in their possession. They are working to sell it and make a ton of cash but his decision is the final one and the days are counting down slowly to when he needs to pick what he finds is best for the family and the land. The best part of this performance of Clooney’s is the fact that he seems like a real normal guy. In his other roles, he has a heightened sense about him even though they are good he gives off that aura that he is George Clooney and he is strong and confident and can make it through whatever is in front of him. Here, as Matt King, he is extremely vulnerable. He breaks down and he doesn’t fight back. He going through this like a normal person would and this makes the movie that much more genuine. He should be nominated for a Best Actor for this and it is well deserved because the transformation that he makes is phenomenal to watch. A lot of credit has to go to director Alexander Payne as well. He is returning after a long absence and this movie brings him back with a bang and should garner a lot of awards attention. The script was well crafted and told the story genuinely and in a fresh manner that let you understand the seriousness of the subject matter but also loosened you up a times to realize it was still a movie and that you should laugh and enjoy it. In conclusion, The Descendants is one of the year’s best and is worth your attention especially with the fantastic performances of Clooney and Woodley and the work of Alexander Payne and crew.