The Descendants

Still from 'The Descendants'

Posted on

Over the past few years, there has been a noticeable change in the quality of child actors. In the past I think that a lot of child roles went to the children of people who were working on the film, purely for the ease of it. Unfortunately, it’s pretty obvious that not all children can act, with some performances ending up as engaging as a door.

More and more however it appears that films are looking for child actors that can actually act, which improves the believability of the film by about 36%. I’m still not sure why they then skip teenagers and find a 25 year old guy to play a 16 year old, but that’s another thought for another time.

The point I was trying to hit while firing blindly on horseback there, was that there are now good child actors.  Amara Miller, who plays George Cloony’s youngest daughter, is one of them. Predominantly there for comic relief, when it came to her big emotional bit, she proved that she was a good choice, causing a number of people behind me in the cinema to start coughing to try and cover their crying. But they didn’t fool me, I could still hear their sniffing.

The Cloons is on form AGAIN, as is the rest of the cast, with Shailene Woodley playing the ‘troubled’ daughter brilliantly.

The chemistry between the three of them actually feels like they’re a family unit, with a real history behind them. Which is nice.

It’s a heart warming, charming, funny story, about a family having to come to terms with a major shock, and trying to sort out the aftermath of some revelations. It’s told well, with beautiful surroundings, and the direction makes everyone come across as normal people, with no-one being a ker-ay-zee unbelievable character, which can sometimes occur in ensemble casts.

So go and see this.