Review | The Descendants

Entertainment Nov. 14, 2011 AT 11:16AM
Review | The Descendants Credit: Merie Wallace

Opens: Wednesday 11/16

Us Rating: ****

The best picture Oscar front-runner has arrived. This eloquently moving film starts as Hawaii-based lawyer Matt King (George Clooney) learns that his wife, comatose from a boating accident, will not recover. The self-described "understudy" parent is daunted by the prospect of taking the lead in raising his sharp-tongued daughters, teen Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) and 10-year-old Scottie (Amara Miller).

What transpires is a beautifully crafted redemptive journey that mixes comedy and pathos. As he hones his paternal skills, Matt finds out his wife had an affair and confronts the other man -- all while overseeing the sale of land that's been in his family for generations. It's a rich role, and Clooney rises to the challenge (hope he has mantel space!). With a head full of gray hair and a surf-shop wardrobe, he carries the weight of Matt's problems in his eyes, posture and weary voice. But thanks to a heart-felt story, every actor -- from the very impressive Woodley to Judy Greer (as a betrayed spouse) -- has a moment to shine. For a movie about ordinary people, this one is extraordinary.

How we use your email

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Us Weekly and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

comments powered by Disqus