Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Descendants

I'm three for three this week in great movie choices. I found some winners just by reading basic summaries and going with my gut (relying on some great actors helped too). In a week like this one, I needed a few wins and I'm hoping my streak continues. (Might I watch a movie every night this week? Perhaps. Welcome to March Movie Madness.)

The Descendants

This movie, from 2011, was nominated for a whole slew of Academy Awards last year, including Best Picture, Actor, Director, Editing, and Adapted Screenplay (which it won). It also won Best Picture (Drama) and Best Actor (Drama-George Clooney) at the Golden Globes. Don't let the awards scare you, though. It's accessible and moving without being overly heavy.

Matt King (Clooney) is a successful real estate lawyer from Hawaii. He has daughters, but considers himself the "back-up parent" to his wife, Elizabeth, who we only see for a few seconds before the opening credits. Once the movie begins, we learn that a boating accident put her in a coma, forcing Matt to deal with Alex (17) and Scotty (10) on his own.

That situation sounds rough as it is. Now add this: Elizabeth won't wake up from the coma, so she will soon be taken off life support. And this: Elizabeth was cheating on Matt before the accident happened. Oh, and this: Matt finds out from Alex, who caught Elizabeth with the other guy several months prior to the accident.

There's also a land deal about to happen between Matt, several of his Hawaiian cousins, and a potential buyer, but understandably Matt is a little preoccupied trying to find the man his wife supposedly loved while at the same time mourning her. Okay, so it gets a bit heavy. Still, there are enough lighthearted moments to keep this movie afloat in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.

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