Thursday, May 26, 2011

George Clooney in "The Descendants"

Above is the new trailer for Alexander Payne's first film since the Oscar-winning critical darling Sideways.  The Descendants, staring George Clooney and The Secret Life of the American Teenager's Shailene Woodly (who looks fantastic) as a clashing father-daughter pair, is about family dynamic in the wake of the mother's illness.  Supporting roles by Beau Bridges and Robert Forester look fun, and from the trailer alone we get a good sense of Payne's signature drama/comedy tightrope walking.
Er, tightrope running, I mean.
For my money, Payne is a great storyteller, but he's been hit and miss for me.  However, his films have consistently increased their visibility at the Oscars come awards season, if all three ultimately disappointed in early-season expectations.  I'm a huge fan of Clooney doing drama, so I'm hoping this is going to be good.  Below is the poster (seen here on IMDb in better quality), released just a few days ago, which looks only slightly like a Lifetime Original Movie.


  1. Hasn't anyone else noticed what a tired hack Alexander Payne really is? His formula is to take tried and true charismatic actors like Jack Nicholson, Matthew Broderick, and George Clooney and to render them stupifyingly dull. You call that great directing? Oh, I forgot, and he can do the same thing for every location in the world. From the Paris of "Paris, Je T'aime", to the wine country of "Sideways", and now to the Hawaii of "The Descendents", master magician Alexander Payne can make everywhere look as flat on film as his hometown Omaha truly is. Payne's only real accomplishment is to have reflected how full of self loathing we as a society must be to continue to give his nihilistic films an audience.