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The Descendants / Les Descendants (Bilingual)

George Clooney , Shailene Woodley , Alexander Payne    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.98
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Product Description

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Only Oscar-winning writer-director Alexander Payne (Sideways) would think to cast the famously handsome George Clooney as a disheveled dad in his outstanding adaptation of Kaui Hart Hemmings's tragicomic novel. Clooney dials down the glamour to play Matt King, a Hawaii real-estate attorney with a propensity for unflattering shirts and ill-fitting trousers. When Matt's wife, Elizabeth, ends up in a coma after a water-skiing accident, Matt must learn to balance the parenting of his resentful daughters, Scottie (Amara Miller) and Alexandra (Shailene Woodley, The Secret Life of the American Teenager), with the sale of a pristine plot of Kauai land that stands to make the King cousins, including scruffy Hugh (Beau Bridges), a fortune. As Elizabeth's condition worsens, Matt contacts friends and relatives, like her fiercely protective father (Robert Forster), so that they'll have the chance to say goodbye. In the process, he finds out she was having an affair with realtor Brian Speer (Matthew Lillard, effectively cast against type), so he and the girls, including Alex's hilariously mellow friend, Sid (Nick Krause), go on an island-hopping trip, ostensibly to add Brian to the mix, but Matt really wants to find out what his wife saw in the guy. His journey from naiveté to knowledge brings out Clooney's soulful side, creating a believably flawed, deeply sympathetic figure. If Payne leans too heavily on the slack-key soundtrack, his love for his characters, including Judy Greer as Matt's female counterpart, results in his most emotionally satisfying movie to date. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

From the Studio

From Alexander Payne, the creator of the Oscar-winning film Sideways (2004), set in Hawaii, The Descendants is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney) an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with a decision to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries. ©Fox Searchlight


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite film of 2011 March 11 2012
By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
The Descendants (2011)
Comedy, Drama, 115 minutes
Directed by Alexander Payne
Starring George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Nick Krause and Amara Miller

***Spoilers within***

It took me about two minutes to decide that The Descendants was going to be my kind of film. It happened during Clooney's opening voice-over in which he observed that, just because they live in paradise, Hawaiians aren't exempt from the usual problems people face. That statement caught my attention because it's true, but it also alerted me to the possibility that the script would be both truthful and more intelligent than most.

Matt King (Clooney) is the kind of character that I can identify with. He's a lawyer and his job is more important to him than his family. He regularly travels to neighboring islands on business and hasn't had a proper relationship with his wife and two daughters for several years. When his wife has an accident which places her in a coma, Matt's life changes instantly. He has to be a father to his daughters and he's completely unprepared.

His younger daughter, Scottie (Miller), is 10 years old. Matt last took care of her when she was three. His other daughter, Alex (Woodley), is 17 and is in a boarding school to help her overcome alcohol and drug problems. When Matt learns that his wife will never wake up, he takes Scottie to collect Alex from the school. Alex is drunk when he turns up and openly defies him early in the film.

Place yourself in Matt's situation for a moment. How would you attempt to console your daughters? What would help you establish some kind of connection with them? If you're all they have left, how will you make them feel as if everything is going to be all right?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Paradise offers no king immunity from care Feb. 25 2012
By L. Power HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
Director Alexander Payne has previously directed movies such as Election starring Reese Witherspoon, About Schmidt (Widescreen) starring Jack Nicholson, and Sideways (Widescreen Edition) starring Paul Giamatti, nominated for five Oscars winning one.

Gregory Peck once said it's hard to make a good man look interesting.

You can probably imagine in a cinematic world peopled with antiheroes, flawed heroes, or unrealistic superheroes, how refreshing it might be, to encounter a good guy we can relate to, in situations that parallel those we might actually experience.

George Clooney plays Matt King, a lawyer, businessman, and hardworking mostly absent father of two girls. He happens to be wealthy because of his descent from the original landowners of Hawaii, the real Hawaiians, who own most of Hawaii. Sole trustee of the family's interests, and now because of succession rules faced with the situation of having to sell off thousands of acres of pristine land to resort developers. Despite his family wealth Doug leads a very modest life. He drives a metallic silver Honda Civic, a sensible car.

When his thrillseeking wife ends up in a coma following a powerboating accident, he is thrust into the unfamiliar role of looking after his two daughters each bringing their own challenges. The younger one has difficulties in school, the older one, well, she's a teenager.

We learn early in the movie that the wife had an affair, making a difficult situation even worse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best $5.00 I Ever Spent on a DVD.... June 14 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this DVD to make up a $25 order in order to get free shipping. I have always enjoyed George Clooney, loved him in 'ER' and looked forward to his occasional visits on 'Rosanne', however I had never seen much of his recent work. WHAT A SURPRISE! This is a brilliant movie, no glamour involved here, George plays his part of a grieving husband and previously distant father completely convincingly. The movie makes you think, keeps your interest, minimal use of the 'F' word and and when it is used whether you like it or not it fits. It will go down with 'On Golden Pond' as one of my favourite movies about finding the light at the end of what seems to be a never ending dark tunnel. I loved every minute of it. Would recommend it to anybody who enjoys a story which does not involve any sex or violence.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great film. Sept. 14 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a brilliant film. It deals with some very serious issues in a low-key, grounded and humorous way. The film is gorgeous to watch as it is set in Hawaii and there are lovely shots of beautiful scenery everywhere. The acting is superb. Definitely worth seeing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars LOVE/HATE that kind of film April 24 2014
Format:DVD
I took a cursory glance at some reviewers here at AMAZON/CA a few loved or hated these viewers I take like a set of die ain my hand shake and I get a view about this kind of film? The greek type drama here I see it has attracted close to 200 million in receipts which is way above what I expected for this kind of film..itintrigues from many perspectives. A start its an old film as if the star (prior to Charlton heston clark Gable was to appear in the Hawaiian locale) George Clooney was going into a locale I don't live in Hawaii nor pretend to be in movies..a common viewer like these others who watched..Hawaii..the settings are lush..hardly any local persons or customs intrude into the scenes but the person..here dieing on a bed..like a very old culture where they wait for all to come and see the dead..or dieing before they are put to rest in some setting. The story is very old..as are the morals..a husband has been betrayed..sexual indiscretion or adultery is a part of it..we are uncovering the betrayal..we have two children..who interact with friends..his wife's lover..her spouse.we have a large number of people in this play like setting.

This is a movie..not a play..the scenes need to move briskly, the dialogue, pieces..action, it all needs to move to attract the movie viewer or appeal..it obviously has..does the film drag at all..this film does not appeal to all tastes..we have an actor..as the cover back says..everyone loves George Clooney..thats hardly a compliment. If some disliked or they need to watch develop a sense or but to say everyone likes..hes certainly photogenic and you likely know him as you sit..his previous film performances..stories in the press..it all plays against the drama of a person having morals..what exactly are they?..
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
good film and lovely backgrounds.
Published 24 days ago by maggie
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
boring
Published 2 months ago by S. Benedetti
1.0 out of 5 stars Love of the Hawaiian culture, music and people
I love Hawaii and have been there many times. Although there was only a little reference in the story to the history of the Hawaiian people it did touch on a very important issue. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cynthia Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie!!
George Clooney rocks in this movie! I purchased this for my son's English project in school and it was a great choice! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Shona G. Eldering
5.0 out of 5 stars I was surprised how much I liked the movie
This movie was a surprise. I really enjoyed the film and like it when the movie is much better than I expect. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Sean Murray
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cd
Totally met my expectation....George Clooney gave a fantastic performance, as well as the girls who play his kids. I will enjoy watching it again soon.
Published 18 months ago by Doncott
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Good
This is a really good, feel good, movie. Somewhat of a travel log for Hawaii Good acting. George at his best. All the characters were very believable. Lots of funny stuff.
Published 19 months ago by pam
3.0 out of 5 stars The Descendants
I was somewhat disappointed, I expected more of a story. It was a good movie but not a great movie in my opinion.
Published 19 months ago by Michele Searles
4.0 out of 5 stars Clooney en grande forme
Excellent film où nous retrouvons George Clooney en grande forme.

L'histoire d'un père qui s'occupe de ses deux filles à la mort de sa femme. Read more
Published 22 months ago by CINEVORE
1.0 out of 5 stars Soooo bad
Before I saw the movie, I bought the book and struggled through it. I forced myself in order to see what all the fuss was about. It was one of the worse book I ever read. Read more
Published on Aug. 9 2012 by Claude Maassen
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