The Descendants

The Descendants is an interesting movie about choices, and families.

The film stars George Clooney in what is likely an Oscar nomination role.  He plays a wealthy Hawaiian lawyer who has a lot on his plate.  His wife is in a coma after being injured in a boating accident.  He manages a soon-to-be-dissolved trust for his extended family and needs to decide whether to sell land that has been in his family for generations.  His two daughters are acting out, then he learns that his wife will not survive the coma, and then he learns from the oldest daughter that his wife was having an affair.  The arc of the movie addresses Clooney’s struggles to deal with his confused feelings about the affair, his wife, her approaching death, his daughters, and his native Hawaii.

I thought The Descendants was highly entertaining, thought-provoking movie.  Clooney turns in a fine performance, and Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller, who play his two daughters, are excellent.  The three of them had great chemistry as  a family.  I also very much liked the deliberate pace of the movie and its refusal to be pigeon-holed into the categories that so often define the standard Hollywood fare.  Often funny, at times deeply moving, and always riveting, The Descendants was an unpredictable treat.