The Descendants

Directed by Alexander Payne
Starring George Clooney
In UK Cinemas January 27th

by Joanna Orland

The Descendants just picked up the Best Drama and Best Actor in a Drama accolades at The Golden Globes. I have no idea why. It is a quite decent film with an interesting enough story and all, but the acting throughout is stunted, the dialogue forced at times, and well, it seems more self-indulgent than a genuine expression of art.

Director Alexander Payne, famed for directing Sideways and About Schmidt, has taken an interesting story of Matt King (George Clooney) whose wife is in a fatal coma, with two daughters who are acting up, and the discovery of his wife having taken a lover; and has made it about HIMSELF! Should’ve named it About Payne.

I can’t directly explain how this film emits the self-indulgence as it does, but it just does. Let me give it a go: First case in point – the acting. Sure, he cast George Clooney in the lead role, but it’s like he got his mates to play the supporting cast around him! Hire some professional actors – Surely you have the budget!?

Also, George Clooney annoys me. The only film I have ever liked him in is The American and that’s because he doesn’t say much in it. I know I’m in the minority on this point here, so just ignore me if you’re a fan of “the silver fox”. But come on – he doesn’t act… he plays himself in every film. I wish I could win an award for playing myself! Oh wait… I have… it’s the award of LIFE. Scew you untalented Hollywood posers.

Anyway, this film isn’t as terrible as I’m making it out to be, but it has angered me by its potential that it fails to live up to, due to some terrible directing on Payne’s part. On the whole, you wouldn’t be worse off for having seen this film, but perhaps there is a better way to spend your evening than watching a merely decent film? I am hereby re-christening this film as The Decentants.

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