“And we got another one that’s ripe with Oscar buzz. Going in, besides the fact that it stars George Clooney, all I knew about the movie was the one sentance summary: guy’s wife is in a coma, which he and his kids are dealing with. I knew the chatter about the movie was good, but I really loved it.
Character pieces can be a tough sell for me. We’ve been over this many times, but I like narratives. I like to be told a story. Yeah there were a few objectives in the plot, but it def felt more on the character piece side of the spectrum. However you wanna classify it, I was sold. I _loved_ our main characters. George Clooney delievered (as if there was any doubt) as the father, Matt. Troubled rebel daughter Alex (Shailene Woodley) was fantastically feisty. Yougest child Scottie (Amara Miller) brightened up the screen. And I simply adored clueless guyfriend Sid (Nick Krause) and his sweet out of place awkwardness (especially with that one big poignant scene with Clooney towards the end). Also happy to see Matthew Lillard, even if for only a couple brief scenes. That boy’s grown up.
Besides the wonderful characters, what also sold me on the film was the tone. Yeah, it was heavy subject matter. Enough so that it caught me near tears twice (moreso that certain scenes and dialogue triggered memories of my Daddy’s final days). But there’d be some clever and funny dialogue mixed in. Very much the kind of, I-dont-know-if-its-appropriate-for-me-to-be-laughing-right-now type of dark but real comedy. Also, less important, but certainly a nice touch was that I love the Hawaiian setting and the attention to the culture of the state. I spent nearly two weeks there after I graduated high school and absolutely loved it. My friends who live there adore the state and the sentimients the movie expressed towards those wonderful islands very much lined up with everything I know about it.
Word on the street is that this is in the running for best picture. While it’s certainly a fantastic and highly recommended film, it doesnt feel quite like a top Oscar winner. Then again, it very much fits into the spot that’s inevitably occupied by movies like Juno or Little Miss Sunshine. Not likely a winner, but certainly a worthy contender.
The Descendants – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/