The Descendants

Entered the cinema with high expectations (and slight trepidation...the over-rated "Sideways" still fresh in my mind) for Alexander Payne's multi-nominated, much lauded and accoladed movie and unfortunately it reminded me too much of "Sideways". A very American, slow paced movie about a dysfunctional family getting back to normalcy after a tragedy, mixed in with some side plot of conservation and adultery-mystery. It was watchable with a few genuine chuckles, but many times I wished I could take a remote out and press fast-forward. The script was quite distinctively written by more than one person. Payne was too much tell rather than show, and too explicit when he should be implicit. The "authentic" Hawaiian soundtrack was seriously awful and distracting; I was flashbacking to "Lost". George Clooney was fine, funny at times, but he did not reach greatness or awesomeness. The brightest spark was Shailene Woodley - she has potential. If you liked "Sideways" then this would be right up your alley, but I can't see this, Payne and Clooney lording over "The Artist"; actually, sadly, not even over the heavy-handedness of Spielberg and "War Horse".


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