115 minutes | MPAA rating: R
Alexander Payne doesn’t make movie about big ideas.
He makes movies about small people, then makes us care about them, flaws and all.
In fact, it’s hard to name another contemporary director who has so successfully found the comedy in tragedy and the tragedy in comedy.
Matt King, the clueless Honolulu lawyer at the center of “The Descendants,” is a near cousin of “Sideways’” Miles, “Election’s” Jim McAllister and “About Schmidt’s” Warren Schmidt. He’s a not-particularly-nice guy thrown into circumstances that force him to face himself.