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The Descendants Review


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#1 Westside Steve

Westside Steve

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 02:41 PM

The Descendants
Fox Searchlight
R 110 min

Another Academy Award nominee and yet another disappointment.
I really donít like this new system of nominating ten flicks for best picture. Itís hard enough to find five worthy of a golden statue and now it seems thereís more leeway than ever to toss a bone to toss an honor to someone for political (witjhin the industry) or other reasons other than a great film.
I certainly didnít dislike THE DESCENDANTS as badly as I did EATREMELY but despite a couple unconventional turns it just barely made it to the deep end of the mediocrity pool.
Iíd expected a lot more too. SIDEWAYS was an offbeat gem and Clooney is powerful enough to refuse any weak script. Maybe he saw something in it that I didnít. And maybe his stature in the industry drew more weight as to the nomination.
Here heís Matt King, an attorney and the administrator of a trust that controls many acres of pristine Hawaiian property. Itís worth many millions to all of the family members who stand to split that up, but the final decision rests with him.
They are the descendants of one of the last members of Hawaiiís royal clan though none look like they have any Polynesian blood.
His troubles keeping the trustees happy are dwarfed by those involved with his family.
His wife, who heís just found out has been unfaithful, is in a coma and about to die. It seems that everyone has been aware of that but him, but most importantly his oldest daughter whoís rebelling.
With his two daughters and the eldestís surfer dude boyfriend Matt sets off to locate and confront his wifeís paramour.
Iíll admit there are some interesting twists and turns here but just not quite enough to ease the boredom and the lack of charisma all around.
Again this isnít a terrible flick, just not up to what I think an Oscar winner should be. Nor is it up to what a mega star like Clooney should select and well short of the emotional catharsis this material might have had.

C+

WSS

Email westsidesteve@aol.com

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