Sunday, November 27, 2011

Phil sees THE DESCENDANTS at the Camera 7 Pruneyard-November 27, 2011

Around this time of year Hollywood unleashes a tidal wave of great films during the holiday season, which tells me that we are now in Oscar season! This month I've seen some truly amazing films, one right after another. So for today I ventured out to see three films; two of them at the Camera 7 in the Pruneyard Campbell. The first film I saw today was THE DESCENDANTS, directed by Alexander Payne and starring George Clooney.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2011)
Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, Clooney portrays Matt King, a lawyer who also happens to be a land baron on the verge of selling 25,000 acres of land owned by his family with his cousins (which includes Beau Bridges) for a large sum of money. However during this, his wife Elizabeth (Patricia Hastie) is involved in a terrible boating accident, leaving her in a coma to which the doctors say that she will not wake up from. Soon Matt finds himself alone with his two daughters: youngest Scottie (Amara Miller) and rebellious seventeen year-old Alexandra (Shailene Woodley). But when Alexandra informs him the Elizabeth was having an affair with a real estate broker Brian Speer (Matthew Lillard), Matt takes his daughters and Alexandra's friend Sid (Nick Krause) on a trip from Oahu to Kauai to confront him, all the while he still wrestles with the decision whether or not to sell the family's land that was handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

Once again Payne blends both humor and emotional drama to his film. His first film since 2004's SIDEWAYS, the film wears its heart on its sleeve, but Payne makes sure he doesn't overdue it. It's emotional depths that all of the characters in the film transcend into makes it so rewarding to watch.

Clooney once again nails his role as the grief stricken Matt, who also must attend to his affair. Young Amara Miller does a great job as well considering the how much darkness is in the film. However major applauds goes to Woodley, who is just devastating as the angst ridden, mother-hating, foul-mouthed Alexandra. Woodley is mostly well known for portraying Amy Juergens on the TV show THE SECRET LIFE OF AN AMERICAN TEENAGER, but with this role, she is able to really stretch out as an actress and turns in an incredible performance. Defiantly watch her career take off after this film!

THE DESCENDANTS is an great film, witty and dark surrounded with compelling characters that will stay with you long after the film is over. Truly worth seeing in the theater!

THE DESCENDANTS is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including the Camera Cinemas here in the South Bay. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

1 comment:

  1. I loved this book. It looks at loss, forgiveness, and family in a way that was very real to me. I liked that it was set in Hawaii; I got a perspective of the islands that I didn't get as a tourist. The story really drew me in. Once I started reading, I didn't want to put this down. I was shocked at two things: this author is a woman (and I thought she really captured the perspective of a man so well) and, this is one of her first books. I'm looking forward to her next book!