Against this backdrop of controversy, tragedy strikes Matt's family. Elizabeth is critically injured in a speed boating accident and lies in a coma in Queen's Hospital in Honolulu. Matt, who has been the back-up parent, suddenly finds himself parenting two bored, directionless and rebellious daughters: 17-year-old Alexandra (Shailene Woodley) and 10-year-old Scottie (Amara Miller). And then, Matt learns from Alexandra that his wife has been unfaithful to him, and when he discovers the identity of Elizabeth's paramour (played by Matthew Lillard), Matt decides to confront the man.
Based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants features an Oscar-winning screenplay by Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, sensitive direction by Alexander Payne (Sideways), outstanding performances by George Clooney and Shailene Woodley, an excellent supporting cast, lovely cinematography of Kaua'i and O'ahu, and an evocative soundtrack of Hawaiian music. This is a film about a man who thought his life was going swimmingly, but who suddenly find that he's floundering helplessly, like a beached whale. It is a film about how families deal with tragedy, a film about acceptance and growth. It is a film with lessons to teach, and one that will haunt your thoughts for a long time after the credits roll.
Label: drama, father-daughter, tragedy
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=81, viewers=76)