As we know here in Santa Cruz, no one is "immune to life"—not even in Paradise. This is well understood by Matt King, a Hawaiian-born lawyer and father on the island of Oahu facing a particularly thorny patch of life in The Descendants, Alexander Payne's incisive, entertaining, tender and life-sized family drama. Shot on location in the luscious Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Kauai, it's a tale of a family in crisis, a culture in flux, and the issue of legacy between the generations, told with wry humor and honest emotion.
Adapted by scriptwriters Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, from the novel by Hawaiian author Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants revolves around the King family. George Clooney once again proves himself one of the most watchable and subtle of actors in the role of beleaguered father Matt, who has evidently pursued a successful law career while neglecting his duties to his thrill-seeking wife, Elizabeth, and their two daughters. But he gets a big dose of payback when a boating accident lands Elizabeth in a coma.
It's up to Matt to pull the family together, even though he calls himself "the back-up parent, the understudy," who has no idea even how to talk to his girls. (Read more)