Title: The Descendants
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Director: Alexander Payne
Kaui Hart Hemmings
Cinematography: Phedon Papamichael
Barbara L. Southern
After an unmerited winning an Oscar for supporting actor in SYRIANA (2005), George Clooney has been radiating his acting prowess since then alongside his director ambitions. After two nominated leading performances in MICHAEL CLAYTON (2007) and UP IN THE AIR (2009), I am ambivalent to judge if he is able to manage another stretch to bag another Oscar nomination seeing that he is not as multi-faceted as Jack Nicholson or Robert De Niro.
THE DESCENDANTS is Alexander Payne’s comeback work after the Oscar sweetheart SIDEWAYS (2004), a seven-year spell is rather too long for his ardent addicts (maybe partially is attributable to his ex-wife Sandra Oh), soothingly that the film has fetched all the accolades and been standing firmly under the spotlight as the front-runner in the coming Oscar race (incidentally, the nomination is due in several hours, best wishes!). My opinion is that this film is excellent as though it fails to level with SIDEWAYS, at any rate, it is Payne’s another masterpiece which explores a viscerally connected rite-of-passage of a man and his family.
An oddly dynamic tempo and a deeply affecting cinematography from Phedon Papamichael propels the film into a self-introspective journey both for the land baron Matt King and his viewers. George Clooney again locks up his prestigious celebrity identity and is vested a vast credibility to his character and showcases different layers of emotions, a surefire Oscar-worthy achievement. Two supporting ladies are striking too, Shailene Woodley and Judy Greer proffer their excellence and props both halves of the film respectively, Shailene possesses a drawing power of self-assurance as the defiant adolescent daughter, she is doomed to be a big name in Hollywood and an always snubbed Judy commits herself to her career-best within her paltry screen time. A doofus Nick Krause and a chubby, cutesy Amara Miller almost of the time are the comical toners and a striking comatose performance from Patricia Hastie also merits some backslapping here.