The Descendants (2011)

This film deals with issues close to people who are in their mid-life. Just like Matt King(George Clooney) you probably have buried your life, the last 20-30 years, with paperworks and a career, and suddenly realize that your children have grown up, and there are little connections between you and them.

Elizabeth King (Patricia Hastie) is in a coma (fortunately, she has a will to determine how she will be handled with her eventuality. Life extension can be a touchy subject for all families involved). Matt, suddenly, was brought back to his other reality and must now deal with his wife’s situation and their two daughters, which he feels so inept.

Alex King(Shailene Woodley), she should have been nominated for an Oscar in a supporting role, is the eldest daughter, and Scottie(Amara Miller) is the baby of the family, who gets into troubles sometime. Throughout the movie, Alex’s friend Sid (Nick Krause) is tagged along, who creates the necessary balance and helps out Matt a bit to deal with all the events surrounding him. Matt is also the executive trustee for a piece of land passed down to his family generations ago. His extended family must decide what to do with it: sell and cash in, or what?

This film tells a family story, and how a crisis brings them closer. Being in Hawaii, and seeing its islands and nature helps to mellow out the heaviest of the issues. (If this were to happen in New York, it would certainly be a different kind of film).

Fidelity and marriage, or vice versa. Matt takes the matter of her wife’s cheating in an adult manner: no revenge, no mano à mano  brawl, no bitterness, catharsis, yes! Married Brian Speer (Matthew Lillard), Scream (1996) ‘s Stuart, is the other adulterer. Alex is the one who brings her dad up-to-date about her mom’s affair, and becomes his dad’s side-kick to rat out her mom’s lover.

Like an Hawaiian breeze it carries us through the story gracefully, and in a mature way that I wish most family affairs could be handled in the same ways when the occasion arises.

At the end of the day, we all need attention, and our busy world and busy lives are preventing us from being heard, from listening to.. guess, nothing cannot be resolved if we have the right frame of mind, and the right environment.




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