The Descendants | Indy Week

The Descendants

Rated R 115 min. 2011

Juxtaposed with an idyllic Hawaii milieu, wealthy attorney Matt King (George Clooney) takes up residence in the hospital room of his wife, Elizabeth, after a boating accident leaves her comatose. As Matt and two unruly daughters, 17-year-old Alex (Shailene Woodley) and 10-year-old Scottie (Amara Miller), prepare for her death, Matt learns that she had been cheating on him with a local real estate agent (Matthew Lillard). Director Alexander Payne's deft skill at leavening adult themes with breezy humor remains in fine form. However, Matt remains largely untainted, a man without context whose problems are the apparent product of external sources. Meanwhile, the mute Elizabeth is not given a credible advocate, leaving her vulnerable to profane, unchallenged attacks from the victimized. For Matt, the only thing standing in the way of family healing—and a night spent snuggling on the sofa with his daughters—is a dead materfamilias.

Film Credits

Official Site:

Director: Alexander Payne

Writer: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash

Producer: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor

Cast: George Clooney, Judy Greer, Beau Bridges, Matthew Lillard, Robert Forster, Shailene Woodley, Mary Birdsong, Nick Krause and Amara

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