HIFF 31 wrapped exactly one month ago, and while the hoopla from the closing night film The Descendants died off a short while after that, it’s all being ramped back up again as the film makes it way to local shores today in an expanded limited release. Seriously, more about The Descendants!?! Yes, more Descendants! More Clooney! More Shailene Woodley! (who?). Anyway, here are a few reasons why you should go out and see The Descendants this Thanksgiving weekend . . .
- IT’S SET IN HAWAII :: Yes, us locals are always suckers for when Hollywood productions are set or filmed in Hawaii. I’m not sure about everyone else, but films about or shot in Hawaii always get a few more points in my book, mainly because I think it’s good exposure for the state AND it’s sort of a thing of pride. It also features a lot of local Hawaiian music, predominantly from Gabby Pahinui but also from other local singers as well. Tons of movies are filmed/set in New York or LA. Movies filmed or set in Hawaii are few and far between so anytime I can brag to people about a movie from Hawaii . . . I’ll take it!
- GREAT PERFORMANCES :: While George Clooney is the headlining star of the film, he’s not the only one that stands out. Right next to him should be Shailene Woodley who plays Clooney’s daughter in the film. She’s just as great if not better than Clooney. Also count solid performances from Judy Greer, Matt Lillard, and Robert Forster and you’ve got a bunch of great actors contributing to the film.
- GREAT STORY :: The story by local author Kaui Hart Hemmings is masterfully adapted to the screen by director Alexander Payne (Election, About Schmidt) and perfectly folds humor and sadness into the heart wrenching plot of the film. You can literally be laughing in one scene and then crying in the next. It’s storytelling at it’s finest.
- OSCAR BUZZ :: Even before it’s release last week Wednesday, The Descendants has been gathering a lot of positive Oscar buzz on the film festival circuit. Come Academy Awards time February, don’t you want to be able to say you saw at least one film that deserves to have an award? You’ll be able to contribute to any Oscar conversation as I’m sure The Descendants will pick up multiple nominations.
Where to see The Descendants?
So, here comes the tricky part. Though the film has been released today, it’s not a ‘wide release’. Wide releases are your typical Hollywood films that are released at every theater in your city/town. The Descendants is a film brought to you by Fox Searchlight. While Fox Searchlight is associated with 20th Century Fox (one of the big six studios) it is its own entity and is actually a smaller studio/film distributor that focuses on independent and art house cinema. The film is making it’s way to Hawaii via an expanded limited release. Limited release films generaly start off playing in New York and Los Angeles and gradually expand to playing in other, less populated, cities in forthcoming weeks.
As such, The Descendants is only playing at three theaters on Oahu:
- Consoldiated Ward 16 Theatres (with reserved seating)
Choose the appropriate location for your movie viewing.
Anything else I should know?
I know it can be a bit much taking my word for it on seeing The Descendants. So, here’s what other local film bloggers have been saying about the film (we pretty much all agree that you should see it):
Jen and Ryan over at the Popspotting podcast
Ed Morita over at NonStop Honolulu
Suzie Setzler over at the I Adore Books and Film blog
Burl Burlingame over at Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s HonoluluPulse
Mindy Pennybackers over at the Honolulu Weekly