The Descendants

It is a critic’s pick (e.g. the NY Times) and apparently a favorite for Best Picture. I don’t see what all the fuss is about.

It is entertaining and pleasing to watch. It avoids most of the opportunities for cliche. The Hawaiian soundtrack is original. George Clooney does an excellent rendition of George Clooney. Ho hum.

Usually a good litmus test for a character-driven story is: “Would I feel much emotion if one of the characters were hit by a bus?” In this case, not really. There is no sense they are real or interesting and hence worthy of attachment.

You might think “What’s the big deal? It’s a Hollywood production, so what did you expect?” I agree. But when you have a baby, film-going is much more difficult, in part because the price of a babysitter is only slightly less absurd, for the value, than the theater popcorn and soda. So the critically acclaimed films get your hopes a little higher, and more likely to be dashed.

I think I probably should have gone to see Once Upon A Time in Anatolia, even if it the most boring trailer ever. And Tyler Cowen tells me 24 hours too late that I should have seen A Separation.