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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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Staller brings Oscar winning film to campus

A forehead marked with worry lines, eyes framed by black-rimmed glasses, a head full of silver hair and a hope to revive a marriage.  He looks like an ordinary person living in Hawaii.  “The Descendants”  opens up with a voice-over, and Matt King (George Clooney) gives a brief overview on how it is far from paradise and sipping on Mai Tais.  He is put in an unimaginable predicament that will change the events of his life and the lives of those around him.

Matt, a wealthy real estate lawyer, has trust money, but he lives off of his own income by choice.  His resistance on self-suffiency does not sit well with his father-in-law, who often criticizes him for it.

Matt’s wife Elizabeth (Patricia Hastie) is a vegetable. It is not until Elizabeth falls into this state that Matt realizes how bad his marriage is falling apart.  Unbeknownst to him, Elizabeth had strayed from their marriage.  By the end of the movie, the issues regarding their marriage, including what it had turned into , is confronted.

Matt’s perspective changes throughout the film.  In the beginning, all he does is focus on his job, real estate transaction law.  His personal life and family are not high on his priority list. Faced with the hard decision of taking his wife off of life support, however, forces him to grow into a braver man in front of his daughters, somewhat uniting his family, which what his wife would have wanted.

The challenging of the decision comes in telling his 17-year-old daughter, Alex (Shailene Woodley), and 10-year-old, Scottie (Amara Miller). The scene takes place in the family pool.  Matt looks down at Alex as she swims through fallen brown leaves, and beaks the news that her mother will never wake up from the comatose state that she is in.  The most powerful moment is when Alex dunks her head under the surface of the water and lets out a scream, the camera angle allowing viewers to see the agony and hurt on the Alex’s face.

At first, Matt is filled with so much hope, but  has so many challenging moments in the film, and it is often difficult to gauge when it is appropriate to laugh or cry, like when Alex’s friend makes some very insensitive remarks.

The revelations of the effect of  infidelity will leave audiences in disbelief.  Luckily, the Staller Center will be presenting this blunder-filled, emotional dramaon Friday, April 27 at 9:30 p.m.

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