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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
1,939 ( 61)
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

Amara Miller wasn't cast until two weeks before production kicked off. See more »

Goofs

After Julie has left the hospital room and Matt is looking at Elizabeth, her right hand is away from her left. In the next shot, from behind Elizabeth, her right hand is turned closer to her left, even though she can't move her hands. 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?
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Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Descendants (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Hi'ilawe
Traditional
Arranged and Performed by Gabby Pahinui
Courtesy of Hula Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Competent all around, arguably a winning product for 2011
19 November 2011 | by Samiam3See all my reviews

I hadn't seen so many elderly folks in a movie theatre, since I saw The King's Speech last year. I suppose there is a bit of irony in considering that a film called the Descendants has an audience of ancestors.

The best thing about the movie however, is that I think it can be appreciated greatly by any adult age group, elder or not. There are laughs to be had and tears to be shed. The film centres around middle aged, Matt King; a Hawaiian land baron attempting to connect with his children with the knowledge that his comatose wife is at death's doorstep, and he knows that she had an affair before her accident. Meanwhile, he is under pressure from his network of cousins to sell his inherited land to the kind of real estate that wants to put up a seaside condo-mania.

In essence, it's a recovery story. The formula is not entirely 'new' yet the somewhat paradoxical balance of refinement and dry humour are enough to elevate this to a very well rounded story. As far as drama comedies go, The Descendants is ideal.

This may be George Clooney's best lead performance to date. I think it is the first role that doesn't require him to be slick or charismatic even for a moment. He is rather scruffy, but more importantly, he is human. Clooney brings range to the role, hitting all the right notes, funny and serious alike.

I like the fact that even though we are on Hawaii (a photographer's paradise) the island doesn't look all that special. It's important that The islands look just as mundane to the audience as it would to the characters who inhabitant it. Most of the time it's cloudy, and low brow, except for the few moments where it is necessary to bring out the sunshine, as we stand on a cliffs edge with the King family overlooking dozens of acres of land which could very soon become merchandise.

Another thing I like about the Descendents (which you don't see often) is an ending that is both happy and sad. Some say that great films are the ones that leave you wanting more. The Descendants did this to me, and it's probably the closest thing to a great film I've seen this year.


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