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The Globe and Mail

The Descendants: An Oscar-worthy performance from George Clooney

4 out of 4 stars


Directed by Alexander Payne (USA)

Adapted from Kaui Hart Hemmings's novel, George Clooney stars in Oscar-winning director Alexander Payne's ( Sideways) heartwarming, tragic and, at times, hilariously funny drama about a middle-aged father and husband whose seeming idyllic life in Hawaii has been thrown into chaos by a boating accident that has left his thrill-seeking wife in a coma, fighting for her life. Clooney is the harried Matt King, a work-obsessed real-estate lawyer whose relationship with his wife has been strained, and drifting, for years. After the accident, King is faced with trying to fix a broken household where two teenage daughters – both angry and grappling to figure out how to reconnect with their one remaining parent – struggle to remain a loving family unit. Clooney and the elder daughter (Shailene Woodley) give Oscar-worthy performances in this hard-knocks film that will have you laughing one moment and sobbing the next.

Sept. 10, 6 p.m., Elgin; Sept. 11, 12:30 p.m., Winter Garden; Sept. 17, 11 a.m., Elgin.

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