Guest List

A filmmaker friend saw The Descendants last night (i.e., Sunday) at West Hollywood’s Soho House screening room. “Amazing movie, should go all the way,” he wrote. “The whole cast including George Clooney and Judy Greer plus all the kids were there along with [director-writer] Alexander Payne w/ Pacino, Jack N., Reese W. and Albert Brooks in the audience.

We’re on the same page then, I replied. “It’s got to be the front-runner,” he said. “And Clooney for Best Actor. Shailene Woodley could get nominated and maybe Judy Greer also on the basis of just four scenes.” Three scenes, I countered. “No, four,” he replied. “Beach, house X 2, hospital.” (I’m not going to explain this.)

“Wasn’t Robert Forster‘s cranky granddad good also? That early scene when he berates Clooney for not providing ‘more thrills at home’ and then later when he says ‘she was a devoted and loyal wife and deserved better.’ A lesser director-writer would have had Clooney say a little bit more in response and perhaps even spill the beans, but instead he just eats it. (I’m not explaining this either.)

“All brilliant,” he said.

4 thoughts on “Guest List

  1. Joe Leydon on said:

    An Oscar nomination for Robert Forster would be wonderful. Just wonderful.

  2. I’ve seen The Descendants twice now, and both times Robert Forster was easily the best thing in the whole movie. I’ve been very surprised his performance hasn’t been getting more attention from awards journalists, who up to this point have focused almost entirely on Greer and Woodley in the supporting categories. You’d think that at Forster’s age he would at least merit more of a career-achievement spotlight.

    The first time I saw the film was at a test screening more than a year ago. I’m quite certain the movie has been tightened a lot since then, because that cut of the film was an alarming disappointment. At the time, the whole thing struck me as quite a bit too broad and farcical and therefore distasteful given the subject matter. But on my second viewing last week, the tone of the film seemed just about perfect – well, except for the ridiculous Spicoli-wannabe performance by the guy who plays Woodley’s male friend, who still wrecks every single scene he’s in.

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