Director: Alexander Payne
Running time: 1 hour and 55 minutes
The Descendants is a movie about how a father and his two daughters come to terms with the death of the mother and wife, and how they will react when they find out some secrets about her that they didn't know before.
The movie takes place in Hawaii and some islands near it.It was great to see a movie somewhere other than the typical destinations for movies.It felt very original and we get to see places we wouldn't have otherwise.The beaches are magical.Something i, also, liked was the portrayal of Clooney's relationship with his older daughter, played by Woodley.I liked how he treated her like a grown up rather than a kid.She was the first one he told that her mother was going to die and he went with her to find out more about his wife's affair.Finally,what made this movie different, for me, from any other movie about extramarital affairs is the fact that even though Clooney's wife loved her boyfriend, portrayed by Matthew Lillard, he didn't feel the same way.He was just using her and in the end he didn't even go to visit her in the hospital.
On the other hand, there were some things that didn't sit well with me about the movie.First of all,as much as i liked how Clooney's character treated his older daughter i didn't think he was a good father in general. One of the things that led me to that conclusion was that he would let Woodley's character talk bad to his younger daughter but if she said anything back he would tell her to stop.And i would understand it if he was a bad father because he wasn't that involved when his wife was alive but that is just logic.Anyone would know that it is not good to let one of your kids insult the other. Moreover, you come to not like the mother's character after everything you learn about her so as a result you don't sympathise with the grief of the characters.They mention some good things about her throughout the movie but they don't go deeper than that.Lastly, i am sorry to say that i didn't feel a real connection with the characters.I liked them to a level and i did want them to find the woman's boyfriend but i didn't care about them as much as i wanted to.I wanted to get sucked into the story but i ended up having a superficial interest.
In conclusion the movie was fun and i recommend it but i would like to have gotten more out of it.
FOX Searchlight Pictures