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Book Reviews

"The Descendants" : Movie Review By Milt Gross
By Milton M. Gross
Jun 10, 2012 - 12:33:13 AM

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A tragic comedy fiction story, based on the book, in which the lead character, Matt, an attorney, faces incredible odds, makes all the right moral choices, and yet is filled with suspense?

Yup, this one from Netflix has all that with George Clooney as Matt.

Set in Hawaii, Matt's wife faces death in a coma following a boating accident, a realtor with whom Matt, as executor of a senior family member's will, is planning the sale of long-standing family-owned scenic, ocean-view property to become a series of commercial ventures, and two children he is on the way to losing through drug abuse.

While agonizing over his wife's condition after the lead surgeon informs him she will never recover, Matt learns that a man had a secret affair with her. A long investigation, accompanied by the two daughters, leads him to the guilty man. He meets the adulterer's wife on a beach after seeing the man on the beach.

Facing the adulterous husband, who turns out to be the realtor handling the family property's sale, Clooney's character does an amazing thing. Actually what Matt does is not react violently but in a totally different manner.

No sex scenes nor violence in this movie, yet it holds the viewer in continuous suspense until the end of the really tough story. In the end, he manages to not sell the family property over other family members' objections and regains his two daughters.

The movie ends with the three sitting on a sofa, watching TV.

The one hour and 55-minute DVD is one of the most intense, tragic comedies I've ever viewed. It's a comic strictly by definition. The basic problems are resolved in a positive way, making it a comedy.

If you think life has to lead to tragedy, rethink your idea while viewing this gripping tale of a man and his loves.

Cadillac Mountain, the higher peak to the right with Dorr Mountain to the left of it in the center of the picture, as seen from the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park. Milt Gross photo.

The long southern part of Cadillac mountain, which the 3.5-mile South Ridge Trail follows from Route 3 to the summit. This spring photo shows snow atop Cadillac. Milt Gross photo.

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2012

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