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The Descendants (2011)

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A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

Director:

Alexander Payne

Writers:

Alexander Payne (screenplay), Nat Faxon (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
2,710 ( 290)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 66 wins & 142 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
George Clooney ... Matt King
Shailene Woodley ... Alexandra King
Amara Miller ... Scottie King
Nick Krause ... Sid
Patricia Hastie ... Elizabeth King
Grace A. Cruz Grace A. Cruz ... Scottie's Teacher
Kim Gennaula Kim Gennaula ... School Counselor
Karen Kuioka Hironaga Karen Kuioka Hironaga ... Barb Higgins
Carmen Kaichi Carmen Kaichi ... Lani Higgins
Kaui Hart Hemmings ... Matt's Secretary Noe
Beau Bridges ... Cousin Hugh
Matt Corboy ... Cousin Ralph
Matt Esecson Matt Esecson ... Cousin Hal
Michael Ontkean ... Cousin Milo
Stanton Johnston Stanton Johnston ... Cousin Stan
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 December 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los descendientes See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,190,096, 20 November 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$82,584,160

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$177,243,185
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Datasat | SDDS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In September, 1992, Hurricane Iniki blew apart many chicken coops on Kauai that housed birds that were allegedly used for cockfighting. By the time the film went into production, there were thousands of feral chickens roaming the island. In the Kauai scenes, chickens are sometimes seen wandering through the shot. A few were wandering around the parking lot in the exterior shot of the Tahiti Nui restaurant. Sometimes the crew had to shoo chickens away before a take. Some takes were disrupted by crowing roosters. See more »

Goofs

The credits thank Oahu County, which does not exist. The island of Oahu is in Honolulu County. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Matt King: 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?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #21.170 (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Deep In An Ancient Hawaiian Forest
Written and Performed by Makana
Courtesy of Makana Music LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It feels good but really doesn't say or do anything terribly new or special
20 March 2012 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Descendants (2011)

Wow, lots of great sharp close-ups of George Clooney. And a wonderful place to set a movie, contemporary Hawaii, not just the surf and nature scene, but the reality, too, of family and people interacting casually.

There's a forced plot here, a do good situation where some precious Hawaiian land is in danger of being developed, and you know almost from the first minute it's mentioned what the outcome will be. There's a second plot, too, which is more intense, having to do with an affair that gets uncovered and Clooney's sense of discovery and retribution for it.

But what is supposed to be the main point of the movie, in terms of emotional intensity at least, is the trickiest and maybe the thinnest: Clooney's wife is in a coma and is set to have her life support unplugged and then shortly die. His two daughters are supposed to be mischief makers of the worst sort (unconvincingly) and the drama of the oncoming death and the affair discovered during the midst of it all makes the father and daughters reconsider each other.

Sounds good but it only goes so far. Which is to say it's not a bad movie at all, just nothing that rises above. The one mention during, say, Academy Awards month was that Clooney's performance was standout. And it was, though not any more than other Clooney performances, restrained and consummately professional the same way Tom Hanks is. Which is often just a hair short of the breathtaking stuff others pull off at their best.

The best part of the movie is probably just the relative accuracy of the local Hawaiian culture, relaxed and appreciative but also caught up in the usual material and family concerns of any other U.S. locale.


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