The Descendants

The Descendants

(M) Fox DVD/BD

Hawaii: Aloha, paradise, land of recreation and relaxation.

Mike King’s (George Clooney) wife is in a coma following a speed boat accident. He learns from his oldest daughter that his wife was having an affair just before her accident and the film deals with both the physical loss of their wife and mother and the psychological loss of a marriage because of infidelity.

Concurrently, Mike is negotiating a lucrative land deal his whole extended family stands to benefit from as his family is descended fromHawaii’s ancient kings and possess the last piece of virgin Hawaiian coastal soil.

In short, Mike is a man beset by problems.

The Descendants is a beautiful film that develops engagingly. It is by turns funny and poignant. Director Alexander Payne has crafted a careful, in-situ story about grace and forgiveness, frustration and grief, jealousy and anger. His characters feel real.

It’s one of those surprisingly emotional films that catches you off guard dealing with the fragility of our brokenness and our ability to gracefully rise above it.

Forgiveness permeates every frame of this film. Even as Mike rails against his wife’s exploits with another man he is incapable of holding it against her. He has many opportunities to call his wife’s character into question and resists at every turn.

This is the kind of film that makes you want to live forgiveness in every moment.

Now that’s a paradise to rival Hawaii itself.

Adrian Drayton

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