schaden_freude_lj: (free falling)
[personal profile] schaden_freude_lj

Greetings! Here is my second entry for the 100 Things Blogging Challenge and today's installment is The Descendants. It won 45 awards and another 72 nominations and they were all well deserved.

The story revolves around Matt King, an attorney and sole trustee to 25,000 acres of undeveloped beach property that has belonged to his family since the reign of Kamehameha the Great. His extended family is urging him to sell the property to developers before the trust dissolves and while he's looking at different offers, his wife has a boating accident complete with closed head trauma, and ends up on life support. Her doctor tells Matt that she is clinically brain dead and she has an Advanced Directive on file. He gives Matt a few days to contact family and friends to come say goodbye before she dies.

Over the course of these few days, Matt learns all types of things about his daughters that he didn't know, because he is the self-described "back-up parent, the understudy". He learns a few unsavory things about his wife as well.

The movie had a few light and amusing moments, but for the most part, it was excruciating. Watching Matt's perception of his life unravel with revelation after revelation, each one a little worse than the one before was heartbreaking. Seeing his friends' and family's either over the top reactions or complete lack of empathy was horrible. Matt turning his oldest daughter into a co-conspirator, and putting both daughters into unacceptable situations was understandable, but oh so wrong!

Worse still were the scenes at the hospital. Those took me back to sitting with my mother and picked at scabs I thought had healed. As painful as it was to watch, I genuinely cared about these people and their plight; I was completely immersed and my attention never strayed until the final credits began to roll.

If my critique hasn’t made you run and hide, please consider seeing this film.

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