The film is a slow, directionless anti-thriller that never manages to build tension or establish any stakes.
Right out of the gate, the film only sees a kind of blunt irony in this blurring of her public and private selves.
The film suggests a throwback to one of those old Hollywood moonshots of thorny romance and life-or-death adventure.
This moody, under-seen, incredibly sexy romantic noir, a highpoint for its superb cast, receives a beautiful, appropriately reverent restoration.
It isn’t a sophisticated comedy by any means, but its overall lightheartedness manages to save it from becoming completely dull.
The “male gaze” that often despicably and hypocritically surfaces in these kinds of films is pointedly absent throughout.
Alexander Payne’s lovely, resonant fifth film does the hula on a lonely island of imminent death and wasted life.
The Descendants is unassumingly superb, and it’s sure to clinch a whole lot of Oscar nominations. Indeed, it’s a Clooney.
On the basis of About Schmidt, you’d think Alexander Payne (and his writing partner, Jim Taylor) had a problem dealing with grief.