Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Clooney Proves He is One of "The Descendants" to Hollywood Greatness

Somtimees here at TwilightBlog, we like to mix things up. Since news is a little slow on the Twilight front lately, here's a nice review on the Golden Globe winner for Best Picture, The Descendents.

George Clooney has quietly been amassing a career of performances strong, independent male roles that fairly compare to Hollywood icons of yore. His appearance with a strong ensemble cast in director Alexander Payne's the Descendants, is a reminder that he is a standing tradition of Implant, Gary Cooper, and similar icons. Here he plays Matt King, a workaholic lawyer in Hawaii, who is in the middle of selling off inherited asset when his wife goes into an irreversible coma. He subsequently finds out she was cheating on him as well, which sets off all kind of family and personal tensions.

Not your usual light hearted Clooney fare, at least as far as Clooney's suave, breezy persona goes. But the actor's raw talent, confirmed previously in such films as Michael Clayton and Syriana (for which he won an Oscar) is such that he can bury his public image completely beneath the role he is portraying, and dwelling on some of life's most complex emotional or intense situations. In the aftermath of the revelations in The Descendants, the King family tries to hunt down the mother's lover, during which Matt rebuilds his bonds with his children. Audiences from the Cinemas in Bolton to the multiplexes of Houston will find these family scenes the most affecting.

The movie is actually a "dramedy" where the comic and dark aspects of life are presented side by side, and sometimes together, making the dramatic moments made all the more poignant. This is definitely an adult saga (about the emotional state of mature persons running a family), which distinguishes it from the teen or "adult teen" dramas that often dominate the new film releases coming from Hollywood. Unfortunately, the film is marred by lots of profanity, and deeply disrepectful attitudes (expressed by the teen characters towards the father at the beginning). This can be a turn-off to many families, even though the story ultimately deals with re-forging good family relations.

The direction by Payne and photography of Hawaii makes excellent use of the locale for great location shots. The movie also shows the ordinary side of the island, in order to perform a balancing act (showing not all parts of the state are an oasis, but that it is a real functioning residential place to live and work). Still, your eyes will definitely bug out looking at the epic splendor of Hawaii as displayed by this film. The opening is flawed by an overly expository opening, where the narration interferes with getting into the saga, but the movie soars from that point on. Clooney definitely shows he is the successor to the classic stars by his performance, and his association with a film of this caliber.

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