Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yet Another Pointless Award Entry...

When I say entry, I do not mean post on this blog, but an entry on the Oscar ballot. Every year, it seems, the Academy loves to include a totally unimpressive, ordinary film to stand beside the truly glorious films of the year. Some examples include The Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire, The Kids Are All Right, among many others. Their reasons for Oscar esteem, I'm guessing, has to do with politics. Damn Oscar politics. Seriously? An award ceremony honoring the greatest movies of the past year is no place for political correctness and pleasing the government, or whomever. I'm not saying that it is a place for actors to simply say whatever they want about touchy subjects, such as race and sexual orientation, but there shouldn't be any schmoozing going on either. Whether it's an army-endorsed movie about a de-bombing squad (boring), a tale about an Indian boy who is accused of cheating based on his ethnicity (dull), or a couple of lesbians (lesbian couple) and their relationship with their sperm donor (come on now). From those small descriptions alone, would you want to watch any of them? Be honest now. There's no one standing behind you who will call you a jerk and tell your friends and family what a bigot you are. Anyway, this isn't a post about how political the Academy has become, nor is it one condemning these movies I've just described. No, it is about this year's award dud: The Descendants.

Looking at this, you'd think it was a comedy...
I'll tell you right now, I did not finish this movie to the end. Rather I watched the first twenty minutes of it (felt like hours), then skipped through to see if anything happened that was worthy of continuing. And wouldn't you know that there wasn't. Not a single interesting factor in this entire piece of pretentious cinema. I am reluctant in calling this "cinema", as that term is applied to great pictures that will stand the test of time. I just didn't want to call this movie "crap" because that's such an annoying word. The only slightly promising element of this movie was Shailene Woodley, who played George Clooney's troubled teenage daughter. Known for her role on The Secret Life of an American Teenager (a show I have never watched), she did rather well compared to her much-more famous co-star. I won't say she's Oscar-worthy, but she was the only thing that kept this movie going, if it was indeed going anywhere. That's my opinion, at least. Anyway, what follows is a very brief review of the little I've seen of this incredibly boring piece of work.

Yeah, a genuine auteur.
More like a prick.
Now, I wasn't expecting much from this movie to begin with. The trailer did not appeal to me, the director hasn't impressed me beforehand (plus he looks like a pretentious prick), and the entire plot seemed void of that captivating magic the Oscars should be searching for. Alexander Payne has directed Election, About Schmidt, and the Oscar-winning Sideways. All are extremely dull movies, especially the latter considering how let-down I was. I was expecting more from both Paul Giamatti and Thomas Haden Church, as I enjoy each actor very much in movies. Their performances, however, were not enough to get me intrigued by this slow, slow movie. And what does slow add up to? Boring. Here, with The Descendants, Alexander Payne proves that he is not only one of the worst directors I've had the inconvenience of encountering, but that he can create a movie so uninteresting that it is actually remarkable. Not in a good way. Remember what I said about Michel Hazanavicius performing his role as director exquisitely, that I do not usually notice their work but in his case I was enthralled by it? Well, Alexander Payne did the exact opposite, performing his role terribly, that I severely hope he will not be going home with the title of Best Director come Oscar night.

Hide in shame.
Moving on. George Clooney is considered the front-runner of this year's Oscars. At first, I didn't mind, considering I generally enjoy this actor in movies (essentially in comedies). Even in his own directorial efforts, such as Good Night, and Good Luck, he's proved to be a very impressive specimen of Hollywood. Actually, it was just that one movie he directed, that I watched. Regardless, I like him all the same. There's just something about him that is so likable! Charm? Charisma? His laid-back ego? You decide. And you have to admire the guy for rising from ER stud to movie royalty. After watching The Descendants, however, well, let's just say my admiration has declined. In fact, I'd rather that Mexican guy win the Oscar than Clooney. (That was clearly a joke. I hope you knew that.) But Clooney is definitely number four on my want-list for Best Actor. Not only was his acting nothing memorable or ground-breaking (really, it wasn't), but it actually bordered inadequate. Seriously, all he did was go on a scavenger hunt for his wife's lover. Nothing. Impressive. At all. I can't emphasize it enough.

Such an adorable moment.
(On our left, the one worthy of esteem.)
Oh, I'm sorry. Did I leak the entire movie's plot just now? By saying that his comatose wife was having an affair with some surfer-dude? Oh, damn, did I give away the fact that she is in a coma throughout the whole movie? Well, the trailer could have done that for you. Honestly, the trailer gives everything away, there's no point in even watching the damn thing all the way through. Take my word for it, watch the trailer and you'll get the gist of the movie. And won't have to waste two, exhausting hours. In addition to that, your opinion of George Clooney probably would not alter, as mine has upon watching a slice of this thing. (Unless you dislike Mr. Clooney to begin with. Then, by all means, watch it. You'll hate him even more.) I feel my rant against Clooney is unjustified, considering I still like the darn guy so much, but it definitely is. If he actually gets the Oscar (which is not at all doubtful), then I will simply ask a group of kids to sneeze on the Academy, figuratively speaking. In other words, I will develop a major grudge against them for not rewarding the title to Jean Dujardin for The Artist. Did I mention how absolutely sensational he is?

He doesn't sweeten the deal.
Well, I believe I've made my point on how I feel about The Descendants. Just to summarize, this was the largest waste of my time spent on films thus far in the year. Even though I didn't actually watch the whole thing through, for if I did I would still be sleeping from how dull it was, I can say with confidence that it is absolutely nothing special. If the film was featured in the Sundance Film Festival, for example, then I'd most likely enjoy it a tad more, knowing that it has no chance of reaching the Academy Awards. However, considering that it has, in fact, found its way into the prestigious, acclaimed group of films, I am vehemently opposing this film, and anyone who roots for it. ("Vehemently" is my word of the day.) By all means, argue with me by highlighting the greatness of this film, though I doubt you'll find anything worth mentioning. Again, I hope The Descendants will not see any gold this year, if you know what I mean.

I'd like to note that George Clooney's wife was cheating on him with Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

Scooby Dooby Doo!


  1. Oh dear, we'll have to agree to disagree! I don't think the Descendants was particularly remarkable or memorable, but I thought it was honest and George Clooney put in a great performance. There was an element of dark humour that I enjoyed too!
    I understand what you mean about the 'Oscar politics' though - from what I've heard of it, it's probably the only reason Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close got nominated. Damm politics. And War Horse. I didn't think War Horse was terrible but definitely not Oscar worthy!

  2. The aspect of nominating a movie according to its picture scene,and quality of it.

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