My review of The Descendants is now up on Movie Marker:
Director and Co-screenwriter Alexander Payne has carved out a successful niche for himself as one of America’s foremost purveyors of the tragic comedy-drama. His movies tend to be amusing in parts but at the same time tackle fairly weighty subject matter. In Election, a jealous teacher tried to sabotage a star pupil’s bid for School President. In About Schmidt , a grouchy old widower sets out to stop his daughter marrying a guy he can’t stand. Then in Sideways, two friends go on a stag trip where the groom cheats on his bride to be and the best man appears increasingly frustrated. Hardly the stuff of laugh out loud comedies. Yet in all his outings as director, Payne always finds a way to mine humour from these testing situations. In The Descendants, Payne once again tackles a difficult subject matter and while there isn’t perhaps as much humour as in Sideways, there’s still a bitter-sweet charm to the story which can’t help but raise a smile in places.
You can read the full review here: