24 April 2013

Discussing and Comparing The Descendants Audiobook and Film

While I liked the movie and found dialogue, anger, tone, and grief translated well. I think it lacked the things I appreciated most about the book. The Descendants is a story about death and grief but, it's also a story about guilt and starting over. There is crucial bits of back story, inner dialogue, and more cracks in the family foundation than the film had time for. In the film it's assumed Elizabeth (named Joanie in the book) is a good mom. Maybe a crappy wife but a good mom. But in the book, we learn that isn't exactly true. Joanie is seriously guilty of some bad parenting alongside Matt's indifference. For me there was an underlying message about staying present and active in your family and marriage. I won't give anything else away. I will simply say that if you've seen it, you should read it. It's much better. Also, if you like sad deep stories that make you feel a range of emotions, read it and then watch it. Despite George Clooney's perfect portrayal of Matt, the book shows you who the dying woman really was and Matt's awakening.

The Descendants by Kaui Hart Hemmings is narrated by Jonathan Davis, published by AudioGo, and consists of 8 discs (9 hours and 12 minutes long). The film version of The Descendants features George Clooney and Judy Greer and is 112 minutes long. Jonathan Davis is a slow deliberate Matt. He was good but I could have done with a bit more subtle range. A little like what George gave him in the movie.


Have you read or seen it?

40 comments :

  1. I haven't read it and haven't seen it either... Shame on me! :)

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  2. Thanks for sharing, Juju! I am curious about this one after all the reviews, so at some point I may watch the movie. Appreciate your book-to-screen comparisons.

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  3. I saw the movie with a friend who'd read the book and she said the movie followed the book fairly closely but, of course, the book was better. I really want to read it!

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    1. It is pretty close. But yah no movies, there's only so much they can do. : ) I do hope you decide to read.

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  4. i haven't seen this one yet. or read it, i didn't even know it was based on a book actually

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  5. I am ashamed to admit that I have yet to see this or read it. I need to get on that! But from what you've said, I might want to check the book out first. :D

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  6. I am a huge George Clooney fan so I did see the movie and I loved it. I would love to read the book now, I have a feeling I will like the book even more than the movie!

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    1. Ya know, the older he gets, the more of a crush I'm getting on him. Gray looks sooo good on him.

      I hope you check it out : )

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  7. I haven't seen it or read it, but I remember all the buzz about the acting of the girl that played the oldest daughter (who I think is now in the Divergent movie). If I decided to watch it I'll make sure to read first!

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  8. I haven't seen or read it unfortunately. I don't do to well with death or grief.

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  9. I've watched it and I thought it was really good, even better than HUGO (which I watched right before seeing THE DESCENDANTS). I was also really impressed with Shailene Woodley. Girl can act!

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  10. Interesting! I might have to read the book before I see the movie.

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  11. Great review Juju! I didn't even now this was a book. I watched the movie and really liked it so Im guessing I would like the book even more.

    Tina~

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  12. I haven't read or seen this yet, but I keep hearing wonderful things about it! Glad to hear you liked the audio version. I'll have to check it out. Then I can finally watch the movie (I hate watching a movie before reading the book, especially if it's supposed to be a good read). Great review! :-)

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    1. It is good.
      Bear in mind, Matt (the character) is a pretty slow and deliberate guys so it's not fast paced.
      But it kept me riveted.

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  13. I can't believe that I haven't read it or seen it yet...and...I am not really sure why!

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  14. I've seen the movie and enjoyed it. George Clooney played the role well, I thought even though it's such a change from his usual roles. I haven't read the book.

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    1. Good point.
      I love the more mellow vibe he's getting with age too :)

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  15. Sounds like a classic case of the book being better than the movie. But at least George Clooney seemed to embody his character and give an accurate portrayal.

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  16. I read the book then watched the movie.
    I thought the book was great! but thought the movie was just ok.

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  17. I have heard this is really good, I need to check it out at some point!

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  18. Oh, I always feel guilty when I am totally unaware that popular movies are based on books for some reason. I feel like I should know that and for sure read the book before seeing the movie! Thanks for your insight - I can understand why the book version was better than the film.

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    1. I get that way too.
      Like I dropped an invisible ball or something.
      ; )

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  19. I thought the movie was good, so you've made me very curious about the book! I don't know why I haven't read it yet, especially since almost all books are better than the movie adaptations :)

    Fabulous post!

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  20. Amazing sometimes how the differences between the book and movie can change the story on a whole. Thanks for sharing Juju!

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    1. Yes. Exactly. Omitting things changes the vibe sometimes.

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  21. Too sad for me but thanks for the honest comparison.

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  22. Sounds like this story requires both book and movie for a full experience. I was hesitating on the movie as I've heard mix reviews. But being a Clooney fan I have it on my back burner. But with your review, I think I will listen to the audio book then watch the movie. Thanks for helping me decide ;-)

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    1. Yes! You're right. Bravo!

      He really is quite good in this movie.
      I wanted to reach in and hug him. ;)

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