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The Descendants (2011)

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A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 66 wins & 142 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sid
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Grace A. Cruz ...
Kim Gennaula ...
Karen Kuioka Hironaga ...
Carmen Kaichi ...
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Cousin Ralph
Matt Esecson ...
Cousin Hal
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Cousin Milo
Stanton Johnston ...
Cousin Stan
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Storyline

Matt King's family has lived in Hawaii for generations. His extended family - namely he and his many cousins - own 25,000 acres of undeveloped land on Kauai held in trust, which ends in seven years. The easiest thing for the family to do is sell the land before the seven years is up, which is all the talk in the state, as, to whom they sell the property could very well change the face of Kauai. Despite the vast wealth that comes with the land, Matt has decided to live solely on what he earns as a Honolulu lawyer. However, Matt has not had a perfect life living in Hawaiian paradise as many believe. He and his wife Elizabeth were having problems in their marriage. She recently got into a boating accident which has placed her in a coma. Their seventeen year old daughter Alex is in boarding school on the big island since they couldn't handle her rebellion, which was made all the worse by an argument of an unknown nature between mother and daughter during Alex's last visit home. And their ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including some sexual references | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

9 December 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los descendientes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,190,096 (USA) (20 November 2011)

Gross:

$82,584,160 (USA)
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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the King family are at Lihue airport in Kauai, Matt tells his cousin it's "just a little holoholo." In Hawaiian, "holoholo" means "to go out," usually for a leisurely drive. In the next scene, as the family rides in the cousin's jeep, lyrics in the musical cue include the phrase "holoholo ka'a," which means "going for a ride in a car." See more »

Goofs

When Matt approaches Julie as she stands on the beach watching her kids, her hands are on her hips, with her thumbs facing forward. After Matt comments the kids are a handful, her hands are still on her hips but her thumbs are facing backward. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Matt King: My friends on the mainland think just because I live in Hawaii, I live in paradise. Like a permanent vacation. We're all just out here sipping Mai Tais, shaking our hips, and catching waves. Are they insane?
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Soundtracks

'Ulili E
Written by Johnny Noble, Harry Naope, and George Koahi
Performed by Rev. Dennis Kamakahi
Courtesy of Dancing Cat Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
It feels good but really doesn't say or do anything terribly new or special
20 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Descendants (2011)

Wow, lots of great sharp close-ups of George Clooney. And a wonderful place to set a movie, contemporary Hawaii, not just the surf and nature scene, but the reality, too, of family and people interacting casually.

There's a forced plot here, a do good situation where some precious Hawaiian land is in danger of being developed, and you know almost from the first minute it's mentioned what the outcome will be. There's a second plot, too, which is more intense, having to do with an affair that gets uncovered and Clooney's sense of discovery and retribution for it.

But what is supposed to be the main point of the movie, in terms of emotional intensity at least, is the trickiest and maybe the thinnest: Clooney's wife is in a coma and is set to have her life support unplugged and then shortly die. His two daughters are supposed to be mischief makers of the worst sort (unconvincingly) and the drama of the oncoming death and the affair discovered during the midst of it all makes the father and daughters reconsider each other.

Sounds good but it only goes so far. Which is to say it's not a bad movie at all, just nothing that rises above. The one mention during, say, Academy Awards month was that Clooney's performance was standout. And it was, though not any more than other Clooney performances, restrained and consummately professional the same way Tom Hanks is. Which is often just a hair short of the breathtaking stuff others pull off at their best.

The best part of the movie is probably just the relative accuracy of the local Hawaiian culture, relaxed and appreciative but also caught up in the usual material and family concerns of any other U.S. locale.


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