Friday, February 3, 2012
It's all a matter of taste, but for mine, this is the best movie of the year and George Clooney should win the Oscar for Best Actor and Alexander Payne for Best Director.
And the whole cast should have won the SAG award for best ensemble. THE HELP won that, but for me there were a few weaker performances in that film that didn't match the standout ones. But in THE DESCENDANTS everyone is so good I couldn't believe how real their characters were, the unexpected personality traits (and not just the typical indie quirkiness and pushed "character"-ness). I was surprised at almost every turn.
The movie hit home to me in ways I didn't expect as well, even though I was forewarned. I went through a lot of Kleenex. But that's my personal history intersecting with aspects of the story. In the end, there is plenty for cynical critics to criticize, but I'm not cynical despite all I've been through and seen others go through. I always believe in some kind of personal redemption and have experienced it many times, so dig it when a work of art gets it right, and THE DESCENDANTS does.
And Clooney. He's not just this era's Cary Grant, all charm and handsome charisma, he's got the acting chops of any great movie actor ever and has proven it over and over again. the guy's fearless as an actor, lets his characters look and do in ways most "movie stars" would never allow. It works for me.
Everyone else in the film is excellent too, especially Shailene Woodley who should definitely be nominated for Best Supporting Actress and should win some kind of award for her performance, it's unforgettable.