Matt King's family has lived in Hawaii for generations. His extended family - namely he and his many cousins - own 25,000 acres of undeveloped land on Kauai held in trust, which ends in seven years. The easiest thing for the family to do is sell the land before the seven years is up, which is all the talk in the state, as, to whom they sell the property could very well change the face of Kauai. Despite the vast wealth that comes with the land, Matt has decided to live solely on what he earns as a Honolulu lawyer. However, Matt has not had a perfect life living in Hawaiian paradise as many believe. He and his wife Elizabeth were having problems in their marriage. She recently got into a boating accident which has placed her in a coma. Their seventeen year old daughter Alex is in boarding school on the big island since they couldn't handle her rebellion, which was made all the worse by an argument of an unknown nature between mother and daughter during Alex's last visit home. And their ...Written by
While the main story here could have been set in many other places, the background story regarding inherited land in Hawaii reflects and carries forward the themes found in the films Hawaii (1966) and The Hawaiians (1970). None of the characters are descended from the fictional Hale or Huxley families from James Michener's book on which the films are based (which follows the families up through the mid 1950s). However, their story of haolies acquiring and passing along land across generations closely parallels that in this film. As such, the above films are quite suitable to be viewed before seeing The Descendants. See more »
At the movie's end, Matt & his daughters watch a documentary in which the commentary implies that Antarctica became covered in ice because it moved south due to tectonic drift. Although no longer a tropical paradise, Antarctica remained forested until as recently as 20 million years ago, after its final separation from South America created a circumpolar ocean current which isolated the continent's weather. See more »
My friends on the mainland think just because I live in Hawaii, I live in paradise. Like a permanent vacation. We're all just out here sipping Mai Tais, shaking our hips, and catching waves. Are they insane?
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Written by Johnny Noble, Harry Naope, and George Koahi
Performed by Jeff Peterson
Courtesy of Peterson Productions See more »
The Descendants is an outstanding and touching drama
The Descendants is a tragic and heartfelt family drama set against a backdrop of the sights and sounds of modern Hawaii. The music is wonderful, and the scenery of several Hawaiian islands is amazing.
George Clooney is outstanding as the father of a family torn apart by tragedy. His character deals with unsettling secrets of his dying wife and his broken relationships with his two troubled daughters. Forced to deal with the consequences of neglecting his family, Clooney does a great job capturing conflicting and powerful emotions.
Shailone Woodley does a wonderful job as the rebellious older daughter, who captures the anger and hurt of a teenager betrayed by her mother and abandoned by her father. Her relationship with her father is the heart of the movie, and they slowly learn to rely on each other for support and strength in dealing with the loss of their mother/wife.
The film has a wonderful supporting cast that adds humanity and heart to the tragic story. Nick Krause stands out as the oldest daughter's friend, who adds a touch of laughter and perspective to the film. His open and carefree personality grates on the characters initially but helps them to eventually gain perspective on the tragic events.
Overall, the Descendants was an excellent movie that captures the raw emotions of a family dealing with betrayal, pain, and loss and learning to draw together for love and support.
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