The Descendants (2011) – Alexander Payne

George Clooney’s first-rate performance can’t save this doomed and obvious script. Clooney plays a man left picking up the pieces after his comatose wife must be taken off life support. He assumes a parental role in his two daughters’ lives for the first time and is told that his wife was cheating on him before she was injured. He goes on a search for the other man while trying to calm his extended family about the massive, multi-million real estate deal he’s been put in charge of. With his two daughters and the eldest’s unnecessary male friend, he confronts the adulterer and becomes a better man, or something. The movie is in sharp need for tightening, the real estate subplots adds nothing and comes at the expense of the relationship between Clooney and his bitter father-in-law (a misused Robert Forster) which remains largely unexplored.

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