Director Alexander Payne returns to cinema with "The Descendants", a quirky family dramedy set in Hawaii, which deals with a mother in a coma, and a father (Matt) who isn't quite emotionally equipped to handle the reins of fatherhood for a 10-year old daughter (Scottie), and a 17-year old daughter (Alexandra, played by Shailene Woodley, who'll most likely nabbed a best supporting actress nomination and be this year's Jennifer Lawrence). George Clooney does good work as Matt, and will nab a best actor nomination (not sure he'll win, though). The film's title deals with inherited land from George's family that needs to be sold off due to the perpetuity laws, and he's faced with deciding between 2 offers, and facing quiet pressure from various factions of his extended family. And while he's dealing with the business end, he's been coping with a wife in a coma from a boating accident, and adjusting to being the actual parent in the family, as his wife did most of the child-rearing in their family. There are signature bits of Payne's humor sprinkled in the film, though it's almost always kept on low simmer, as George and his family go on a quest to deal with revealed secrets of his wife's own indiscretions, which sandbag Matt emotionally, but he presses on, even as the land deal decision looms in the very near future. It's a solid film, but I just didn't quite love it, but it's worth seeing this holiday season with your family at matinee prices. Just be warned, some foul language from Matt's children does show up in a few scenes. I give it 3 stars, or a grade of B.