Last night we went to see the Descendants at Celebration Theater in Lansing totally on word-of-mouth. That recommendation was from my son Justin who went with his wife Lauren on Friday night.
My reaction: First, thing I noticed was that the theater where this movie was shown was packed mainly with folks who looked to be over sixty, some more so than others. Lots of women were there who seemed to be drawn by George Clooney. Second thing was the price of a cup of coffee at the theater which was $2.75.
As one who watched Clooney on ER back in the day when he was the young stud, I had very low expectations for this movie. But as the movie started and as the story unfoled I found myself being drawn in by incredible acting with the amazing backdrop of Hawaii where Clooney plays a dad who was facing the death of his wife and the prospects of raising to young daughters, one a teenager and another approaching that point. And he was rich.
He had let his relationship with his wife become stagnant through lack of attention and he had taken a backseat in his role as a dad. All of a sudden this dad with millions of bucks and living in paradise was facing his own form of hell.
His wife who was laying in coma in a hospital bed after a boating accident had an affair with a real estate type was found to have chinks in her armor. And Clooney's character had to face and deal with all this himself, with his daughters and friends.
I know it sounds like the plot seeds for a cheesy show involving a country singer, but this really worked. It was a story that transformed the theater into a real time look at this broken family's life.
Academy Award potential? I bet it gets more than one. It was worth the seven bucks a ticket we spent on New Year's Eve. Good story. The acting was great. I'd watch it again on DVD.