The Descendents is a fine showcase for George Clooney’s talent!

George Clooney is good!  We all know that–but it is a joy to see him shine in a performance and it seems that writer/director Alexander Payne and Clooney were made for each other.  The Descendants is a straight forward narrative, but Payne weaves emotions and subtleties that keep it interesting and unique.

Payne is a wonderful writer.  He has this great ability to really capture a character’s voice.  And all his films are slices of real people’s lives.  His talent is in spinning them in a unique way.  We can all relate to his stories–which why it comes across as poignant.  Payne’s directing style is simple and clean and it works to keep the focus on the characters. 

Another Payne trait is his use of creative settings–places we’ve heard of–but really do not know.  In this case it is the islands of Hawaii.  The island’s history plays a big part in the story and the islands themselves are an important and intricate character in the plot.  I love when the setting becomes more than just a place for action to take place–it makes it richer.  (Only negative aspect of the beautiful Hawaiian scenery was that there was a little too much a times–what is this a Terence Malick film :))

At times I felt the story dragged a bit–not enough to be boring–but just enough to feel disjointed.  Yet, it succeeds because of the performances.  As noted, Clooney is fantastic!  As the “back-up parent” who must step up and take care of his kids and as a detached husband who must come to grips with some harsh realities about himself and his marriage–Clooney knows how to relay the range of emotions while showing restraint.  He is a natural. 

Another stand out performance is Shailene Woodley as the eldest daughter.  Woodley has done mostly TV and I had never seen her before.  She is lovely.  Strong, yet vulnerable.  Again, very natural and believable.  I will keep an eye on this young lady.

Overall, The Descendants is fine film–well written, acted and directed–a triple threat! 😀

About nediunedited

Who is nediunedited? A lover of cinema since the age of seven! All kinds–all genres. Films (TV and Books, too) have shaped my life–they were my escape, my inspiration and even my first role models. I do not rate my films in the traditional sense (no stars, grades, etc.)–instead I give you my opinion and my take on it–I do not give traditional plot summaries either, because I want you to go in clear–ready for your own experience. There is nothing better than discovering a fine film, without any other influence. (Personally, when I want to really see something I practice media shut out–I refuse to watch too many trailers, viral promos, reviews, etc–I have been known to cover my eyes and ears in the theater during trailers–LALALALA!) That’s me–hope you come by and visit! I will definitely make the rounds and find some of you out there, too.

2 thoughts on “The Descendents is a fine showcase for George Clooney’s talent!

  1. Pingback: The Descendants « Mixed Media

  2. An excellent piece. I hope The Descendants does well at the Academy Awards now that it is nominated in multiple categories because director Alexander Payne is a fantastic filmmaker and deserves the recognition.

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