Tuesday, March 20, 2012


As Alexander Payne movies go, THE DESCENDANTS is not quite as roundly pleasing as SIDEWAYS but roughly on par with ABOUT SCHMIDT. I like them all, in their elegiac and occasionally naughty eccentricity; they tell good, well-shaded stories; but, despite their welcome fondness for aging characters and their appreciated rejection of prevailing movie trends, I find them neither as novel-rich as their defenders often claim nor do I find them to be conspicuously more than respectable adaptations -- not particularly lasting cinema in its own right. The three films I've mentioned are all based on novels, and I suspect the novels are not as often read as the films are seen and offer the richer, more lasting, penetrating entertainment. But despite all that, I enjoyed THE DESCENDANTS -- what's not to enjoy?

Viewed via Amazon Instant Video HD.

1 comment:

  1. Saw this film twice at theatres and really enjoyed it both times. I can't exclaim that I gathered more from it upon second viewing, but nothing was lost either, which is a testament to its subtle, grounded emotional landscape, reflected in its gorgeous physical landscape. Nothing to complain about here and I found much to relate to amongst the familial drama. This is one of the most endearing films I've seen in the past year.