October 24, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for October                Nicole Kidman, Hugh Grant, Naomie Harris, Lily Collins get Honors at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race        

“Descendants” kids call Payne’s shoot “vacation with George Clooney” – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Alexander Payne’s moving, heartfelt “The Descendants” figures to be a substantial crowd-pleaser as well as a major player on the awards circuit, with talk swirling around Payne’s script, his manicured direction, and George Clooney’s multi-faceted turn as a grieving father trying to button up one last issue of business before confronting a difficult life choice.

So it’s kind of funny to hear Amara Miller, who plays Clooney’s youngest daughter, Scottie, in the film, refer to the shoot as “vacation with George Clooney.”

I had a chance to sit down with Miller and Nick Krause, who brings comic relief to Payne’s drama by playing Sid, the omnipresent boyfriend of Clooney’s older daughter, Alexandra (played with a calculated defiance by “Descendants” standout Shailene Woodley). As you’d expect, the film isn’t a dreary slog through mourning of melodrama. Payne injects moments of humor throughout, which Krause says was very important to the finished product.

“The film isn’t about the melodramatics of [the death bed] situation,” Krause said. “It’s really just about catching people being human. And the death of a family member is a situation where those moments really can bring out every aspect of everyone around you. So it’s a great opportunity to explore that, in a way. … It’s very much about the characters working with each other and growing with each other, and the script really details every step of their journey together.”

Miller, meanwhile, faced the hurdle of “Descendants” being her very first major Hollywood feature.

“I had never done anything like this before. None of my friends had ever done anything like this before,” she said. “I’d never seen a script!”

“But once you familiarize with a script, and how it plays it, it begins to read like a piece of music,” Krause added, who added that the table read with the cast helped him find natural moments between the actors, which helped them once they were in Hawaii.

The islands, themselves, provided these young actors with a natural escape during the film’s three-month shoot. They’d take long hikes on weekends, spend downtime on the beach, relax and decompress in the natural beauty.

“You can see, in the Hawaiian culture, everyone is just so laid back,” he said. The Austin, Texas native admits that he even catches himself slipping back into Sid’s Hawaiian accent every now and then.

Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” screened as part of the Toronto International Film Festival. It opens in theaters on Nov. 18.

For complete Oscar and Film Festival coverage, visit our Awards Alley for the latest news items, reviews and interviews all season long.

Follow Hollywood News on Twitter for up-to-date news information.

Hollywood News, Hollywood Awards, Awards, Movies, News, Award News, Breaking News, Entertainment News, Movie News, Music News

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

Follow us

Breaking Hollywood News   


Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.