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6 Degrees Entertainment

'The Descendants'
(George Clooney, Judy Greer, et al / DVD / R / 2012 / Fox Searchlight)

Overview: A high-powered Hawaii real estate lawyer (George Clooney) finds his ordered existence shattered when a boating accident leaves his wife in a coma, leaving him in charge of the young daughters (Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller) he barely knows. After finding out his wife was having an affair, he drags the girls along on his hunt for the other man, making for moving revelations along the way.

DVD Verdict: To classify this movie in a specific genre would be impossible. At times I was laughing, at other times my eyes were filling with tears, some were tears of sorrow, some were teas of joy.

George Clooney's character (Matt King) is a member of a prominant family. He must enjoy law, because a mountain of family wealth is not enough to keep him from working as a layer. His life is complicated to say the least. His wife is in a critical coma, his daughters are his soul responsibility, and one is a teenager (Shaileen Woodley, 'Secret Life') that seems to define rebellious. The other is younger and affected by her mother's health more than her sister. Matters are complicated again and again, and I'll leave out the details as there are a lot of spoiler-moments and I don't do that.

The most important question is is the movie any good? Well I can honestly assure you that it is. George Clooney always performs, and a seasoned director that seems born for this film allows all of the actors to shine. The storyline takes you on an unforgettable journey down what I can best describe as a smooth road. Everything comes together seamlessly, and the movie feels both modern and somewhat classic.

The movie is directed by Alexander Payne. If the name is not familiar to you, he was responsible for 'Sideways' released in 2004, if you haven't seen that film, then this one will be a good ice-breaker to his style of directing. He is known for mixing elements of comedy, drama, and tragedy, and blending them to be oddly well-balanced. He succeeded in doing so in this movie and I believe it is his best work yet.

Though there are some tear-jerking moments, and misfortune seems to be constantly looming presence, the movie is a long shot from being a full-blown tragedy or drama.The film flows nicely from scene-to-scene, even though those scenes can be night and day in contrast. My hubby doesn't care for either of those genres and he liked 'The Descendents.' He called it "well balanced" and I couldn't agree more. This film could fit into any collection. It is as versatile as a movie can be, and I appreciate it for that. [AM] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.