403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
Follow us:
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx

Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

February 15, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Oscar countdown: “The Descendants”

We continue our alphabetical march through the Best Picture nominees with “The Descendants,” Alexander Payne’s long-awaited follow-up to his 2004 comedy “Sideways” (which itself received five Oscar nominations; winning one, for adapted screenplay). Based on a (lovely) 2007 novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings, “The Descendants” gave George Clooney one of the best roles of his career as Matt King, a small-time attorney in Hawaii whose wife lies in a coma, whose daughters are a mystery to him, and who is suddenly coping with some unexpected truths about his marriage. As always with Payne’s films, “The Descendants” is full of great moments for actors — and, as always with Payne’s films, the combination of comedy and drama doesn’t work for everybody. Those who like this movie really, really love it (I did); those who don’t like it are left mystified by its appeal. (“Sideways” had a similar reaction, I recall; I suspect “Election” did too.) These Oscars will likely find “The Descendants” sidelined in favor of less complicated, more nostalgic fare like “The Artist,” “Hugo” and “War Horse” — but I’m still expecting it to take home a well-deserved trophy or two.
Total U.S. box office: $70.6 million (which is to say, about three times that of “The Artist”; then again, “The Artist” doesn’t have Clooney in it)
Total Oscar nominations: Five, just like “Sideways” — best picture, director, lead actor (Clooney), adapted screenplay, and film editing.
Best chances for a win: Before the Jean Dujardin Charm Offensive rode into town in recent days, I’d have said that Best Actor was Clooney’s to lose. And I’ll still say it, though with a little less certainty. He’s never won this category (in which he’s been nominated twice before, for “Up in the Air” and “Michael Clayton”), and he’s a beloved Hollywood star in a performance unlike anything he’s done before. And, damn, he looks good at the podium. Otherwise, the film (and Payne) has a good shot at winning adapted screenplay; the other awards look far less likely.
Odds of this movie creating some fabulous Oscar-night weirdness: Well, if Clooney wins, he’ll give a smart and memorable speech. But he won’t wear a Hawaiian shirt.
Where I’d rank this movie among the 9 nominees: 2
Film_Review_The_Descendants.JPG
George Clooney (yes, in a Hawaiian shirt) and Shailene Woodley — who plays his teenage daughter, and deserved a nomination herself — in “The Descendants.” (Photo courtesy Fox Searchlight)

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx
403 Forbidden

403 Forbidden


nginx