Director: Alexander Payne Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause Running time: 115 mins
Subject: Broader in scope than the male mid-life crisis dramas Payne has become known for, The Descendants shows death in the context of the lives that must go on. Clooney gives a majestically rumpled performance as Matt King, a man with a dying wife who internalises his grief so that something can be salvaged with his daughters. The 20 seconds where he lets a bit of raw out are perfectly pitched and show the gulf between his feelings and the stoical character responsibilities demand of him.
Is it heavy? Somehow, despite being very profound and brilliant, it is not. It helps that a wonderful, light relief character called Sid is woven into the action.
Like: A Dime bar’s opposite. Smooth on the outside, crunchy on the inside.
Core truth: Fortune favours the brave.