The Descendants at FACT
27 January 2012
The Descendants is in good company in this year's Oscar nominations list, third only to The Artist and Hugo after gaining five including best actor in a leading role for George Clooney and best director for Sideways' Alexander Payne. Not bad!
The film is set in Hawaii and is an adaptation from the novel of the same name by Kaui Hart Hemmings. George Clooney plays a middle aged lawyer called Matt who has labelled himself, "the back-up parent" and who the Guardian have labelled… 'like Peep Show's Super Hans!' He enjoys staying in the background when it comes to the kids as he has other things to do, like sealing the deal on the sale of his ancestor's land in the tropical paradise.
This family dynamic changes when Matt's wife is put in a coma after a speedboat accident. He has to step up his parenting game but soon realises that he doesn't actually know that much about his 10 and 17 year old daughters. Things also get more complicated when Matt finds out that his wife was having an affair at the time of her accident.
By questioning what it means to be a family in the mixed up world of Matt, The Descendants lies somewhere in between a comedy and a drama. If its nominations are anything to go by, it is definitely one not to be missed.