The Descendants (2011, Alexander Payne)

Kind of like Sideways – a good-enough (but never great) drama about cheating (and now death) with an immensely appealing lead actor (was Giamatti, now Clooney). A very emotional journey for the characters involved, if not for us.

Robert Forster is going to hit you:

Hawaiian one-percenter Clooney takes care of 17-yr-old misfit daughter Shailene Woodley (star of an ABC Family drama) and 10-yr-old budding-misfit daughter Amara Miller (plus Shailene’s surfer-grinning friend). While his wife is dying in a coma, Clooney tries to find the realtor (Matthew Lillard of Hackers and 13 Ghosts Remake) who’d been having an affair with her. More wackiness as Clooney deals with a father-in-law (Robert Forster) who never liked him, and work with his co-inheritor cousins to decide what to do with a huge plot of unspoiled land (obviously they’ll keep it in the end). Except none of these things are wacky – it’s all played for sadness and empathy, which is fine if I’d been feeling it.