The Descendants: Blue Hawaii

by Ethan Alter November 16, 2011 6:00 am
<i>The Descendants</i>: Blue Hawaii

Writer/director Alexander Payne, the darkly comic mind behind Election and Sideway, returns after a seven-year hiatus with The Descendants, which easily ranks as his most heartwarming feature to date. It's also his least provocative and prickly, but hey, we all get a little sentimental in our old age. And because this is the guy who made Election after all, his version of "sentimental" isn't the usual gooey Hollywood treacle like The Bucket List or The Help. The Descendants still has a certain bite to it, dwelling, as it does, on the characters' all-too-human foibles and frailties. It's the kind of movie where no one is beyond reproach... even the woman that's lying in the hospital in a coma from which she'll never wake up.

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