Much better than I expected it to be, The Descendants reminds me that George Clooney can act besides just being “George Clooney.” (Though I love him in Ocean’s Eleven and movies like that, too.) As a wealthy dad who wasn’t around much for his kids, he finds himself unsure of what to do when his wife has an accident and goes into a coma.
As the movie progresses, it turns from the “bad” dad and “good” mom to the polar opposites. Unfortunately, it turns out sainted mom was having an affair. So, Clooney and his teenage daughter must process that while they realize that she won’t return from her coma and then carry out her wishes to be unplugged.
In a twist, Clooney and his daughter decide to inform her boyfriend of the accident and that he may wish to say goodbye to her before she’s unplugged. What happens is not what you might expect.
There’s a great subplot where Clooney’s family who’s owned a large part of a Hawaiian island for generations must decide to sell and develop the land or keep it but possibly lose it to the government. When it turns out the real estate agent is the boyfriend of Clooney’s wife, well, the decisions get a little stickier.
A good movie and really, really beautiful to boot.