Here's a trailer for The Descendants, a new seriocomedy from Sideways, Election, and About Schmidt (listed from great to greatest) director Alexander Payne. It's a Hawaii-set tale of a man who discovers that his coma-stricken wife was having an affair.
This new schlumpiness that Clooney's been trying on — he's tested it out in things like Michael Clayton and Up in the Air, though there was still a slick corporate air to those roles — fits him increasingly well, as he goes from salt and pepper to mostly salt (well, really some gray mixture of the two) and those stern features lose a little of their edge. His aging is engaging! So that's a good thing about this trailer.
Payne-wise, this movie looks to have the director's signature melancholy quirk which, despite the odiousness of the word "quirk," is always welcome. And, as with Sideways before it, Payne has moved out of his Midwestern comfort zone and taken the action all the way to Hawaii. Like almost all of his films, The Descendants is based on a novel, the well-received 2007 debut of Kaui Hart Hemmings. The book also tells a story of landowning and inheritance and all that generational stuff, so it'll be interesting to see if that makes it into the movie.
Not much negative to say about this. I am excited! Payne is, to me, one of the best directors working today — a true pragmatic humanist with an eye for the small, strange, and telling moments. This looks to be much in that vein.
Oh, and an exciting, weird thing about this movie? Matthew Lillard is in it! Yes, the Matthew Lillard!