If there’s one movie I’ve watched enough times to be able to quote it, it’s The Descendants starring George Clooney. It may not feature a lot of travelling (aside from the island hopping that the family is forced to do), but it’s set in Hawaii. For me, that’s reason enough to feature this movie for this week’s Travel Film Friday. Anytime I need a break or a pick-me-up after a long day, this film is what I turn to for solace.
Based on the novel written by Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants chronicles the lives of the King family, the descendants of Hawaiian royalty. After an accident befalls a family member, Matt (played by Clooney) and his two daughters try to cope with the aftermath, all the while having to deal with the sale of the last piece of untouched land on Kauai; the very land inherited by the Kings.
My friends on the mainland think just because I live in Hawaii, I live in paradise. Like a permanent vacation. We’re all just out here sipping Mai Tais, shaking our hips, and catching waves. Are they insane?
Every single character in this film is rich with texture; the dialogue is amazing, sharp and witty; the storyline endearing. This film won an Oscar in 2012 for Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, and was also nominated for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Film Editing that same year. The soundtrack is also fantastic. Listening to it allows me to replay the movie scenes in my head. It makes me feel like I’m in Hawaii — if it’s too cold or hectic here in Toronto, I just put the soundtrack on and it takes me away from the chaos.
It’s become habit for me to watch this movie every three months, and now I’m obsessed with Hawaii because of it. I’d suggest it to anyone, regardless if you’re looking for a travel film or not.