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The Descendants (DVD)
Member Name: lubyloo
The Descendants (DVD)
Advantages: A great drama
Disadvantages: bit of rollercoaster of emotions
Having recently joined Blockbusters a few films are on their way for review!
I picked this up because it looked like a good film from the blurb on the back of the DVD, I remember hearing the name when it came out on screen but hadn't heard that much about it. On the cover it said it had won some awards so that seemed a good start and that it was a comedy drama.
The film is approx 1hr 15mins which is relatively short these days for a drama film. However it was the perfect length, there is no point in putting more in just to make the story drag out more. It didn't need it.
The drama unfolds as George Cloony playing Matt King the father of two daughters discovers his wife was in a boating accident. He hasn't exactly been the best husband or dad which he himself admits, he has to bring now help his two daughters through this time. We see Scottie King first the younger daughter played by Amara Miller, as a difficult girl struggling with her emotions, Miller plays Scottie really well and is totally believable as is the older daughter, Alexander King played by Shaileen Wooley who is found drunk at boarding school and extremely rude. As the story unfolds Alex becomes a mature and understanding teenager who still struggling with emotions is a great help to her Dad, Matt King.
Matt discovers something about his wife (I don't like to spoil all the surprises in a review!) which sets them all off on a trail across the beautiful islands of Hawii. I like the way the film doesn't portray Hawii as all wonderful and stress free. The film also plays out the story of the family of descendents, all cousins, trying to sell land that is in a trust fund they've inherited. I love the way this part of the film is portrayed as it shows the serious issues surrounding selling off land to develop and loosing the natural beauty of many places in the world. It was handled sensitively.
My critisims of the film were that on the blub at the back it did not mention that is was quite sad, I guess I'd sat down for a drama/comedy but not known that it was about the children's mum dying, at times it was hard to switch from the few comedy moments it had to the odd situation of the mum in hospital which perhaps was shown a bit too much in my opinion - especially in a comedy. For anyone that has been in this situation yes life does go on and comedy does come back and in the middle of trauma there can be weird commical moments but not like this. However it's a film and it's a story so I accept that there's some artistic license!
I thought the character of Sid played by Nick Krause was brilliant, I loved the moment when Matt goes to Sid for advice and Sid says that his father died a few months ago - the silence was perfect and just said it all.
All in all I thought it was a good film, not one of the absolute best but a good quality well written film, the stars were definitely the daughters brilliant actresses.
Summary: A good film