The Descendants (2011) starring George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Patricia Hastie, Grace A. Cruz, Kim Gennaula directed by Alexander Payne Movie Review

The Descendants (2011)   2/52/52/52/52/5

George Clooney in The Descendants (2011)

Haven't a Clooney

Matt King (George Clooney) suddenly finds his life turned upside down when his wife is left in a coma after a boating accident and he hasn't been a real parent to his two daughters in years but now finds himself having to. To make matters worse he is told his wife won't recover and he knows that means he will have to switch of the life support machine. But then on top of that he is currently in charge of a plot of land which has been in the family for a lot of years and whilst he is financially comfortable his relatives are less comfortable and want him to sell the land to a developer rather than hand it back to the people of Hawaii which is what the people of the island would prefer. And if that wasn't enough Matt learns from his troublesome daughter Alex (Shailene Woodley) that their mum had been having an affair and was planning on leaving them.

Sometimes I think I must be from another planet because I see a movie which has won all this praise and then after watching it I am left completely under whelmed. It is how I feel about "The Descendants" a movie which almost every critic review I read praised it and it was only when I read some opinions form average movie fans that I found those who thought it was disappointing, over long, arduous and not interesting, oh and hilariously contrived. And to be blunt I tend to agree with some of those opinions.

Now maybe it is that word "connection" which I struggle with as during the opening series of scenes as the situation is set up and we enter the world of Matt I felt nothing for the guy. Yes Matt's a nice guy from what we hear via a narration, yes he's worked too hard and not spent time with his family but he is trying, but this guy or his predicament failed to interest me. Maybe it will get better I thought as we meet other characters and relatives but nope not a single one drew me in to what was going on. And when the revelation came that Matt's wife had been having an affair it was so ridiculous that I wondered what the intention was. Maybe those who have found themselves in a comparable situation, dealing with having to switch off life support or learning that a dying spouse had an affair will be able to connect but it just kept me distant.

The knock on effect of this is the acting did absolutely nothing for me so all this talk of "The Descendants" being Clooney's best performance in years didn't ring true. It is not just Clooney's performance as not a single performance or character drew me in to what was going on.

What this all boils down to is that "The Descendants" ended up doing nothing for me and I am left wondering what it exactly is that people see in this movie which is so great. As such all I can say is "The Descendants" is well made but it is over long and failed to entertain me.