Friday, March 9, 2012
Director: Alexander Payne
Writer: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Why didn't this film win more awards? Simply put, it is far from an astonishing film. It is a good movie, but not even great. I'm not sure how it even managed to be up for Best Picture. Of course, I'm not quite sure how half the movies selected managed to make it up there (War Horse). That's not to say The Descendants is bad, because that's not the case either. Average is more like it.
I enjoyed watching The Descendants for one reason. I loved the two daughters. They were very real characters and their banter was wonderfully crude. Somehow even Clooney was outshined by these young actresses. It seems odd considering, but maybe the character he portrayed just wasn't lively enough. Maybe hen's not meant to be the important one. It's hard to tell sometimes.
The reason I think this film was nominated was for its plot. In it, annoyed, unconnected, and uncaring husband Matt suddenly is forced to re-evaluate his marriage when his wife is in a life-threatening accident. As a result, she ends up stuck in a coma from which she will never wake and the husband is forced to mull over the tough decision of whether or not she should be kept this way or let free to die. All this is played alongside Matt also having to decide who to give his massive share of Hawaiian land to because for some reason he is a descendant of some powerful people.
This is all some serious stuff but the movie plays everything off in a rather amusing fashion. The approach is certainly valid but to me at least it left things feeling less important. It's just a happy go lucky film with some dipping points. It is a very modern film with very modern jokes too and for that it feels weaker. Maybe that's just me though because I am more used to films which don't try so hard to plant themselves firmly in the moment.
Check the film out and see how it works for you. I enjoyed it I just don't see it being Oscar-worthy. Perhaps you'll view it differently.