Sideways is a perfect film. The more you watch it the more of itself it reveals. It is a story of a greatly flawed man who clatters selfishly forward — his book, his breakup, his misery. If he is given any redemption by the film’s end it’s because he comes to terms with being an asshole. But The Descendants is about more than one’s own personal journey of self-discovery; it is about selflessness, and how most of us are really here not to polish our own knobs 24/7 but to look out for others, especially those we’re responsible for, those we’re leaving behind.
I loved this film.
One must be cautious this time of year not to spill over with enthusiasm only to see a truly wonderful film such as this deflate during awards season for every reason except the only right one — that it isn’t good enough. It’s plenty good enough. But that might not stop people from wanting to hate it (in the end, we’re fairly petty creatures, truth be told). Although it’s positioned as a major Oscar contender, and from the looks of it, it should meet those expectations, it is a movie that can thankfully transcend the need for validation from those 6,000 voting members.