We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


DVD/Blu-ray: The Descendants (15)


“I'm the back-up parent, the understudy,” explains George Clooney's complacent family man and workaholic Hawaiian lawyer.

His wife is in a coma after a jet-ski accident, and he is charged with caring for his two wayward daughters (played by Shailene Woodley, below right with Clooney, and Amara Miller), whom he has always neglected. The Descendants is a gentler film for Alexander Payne, absent from directing for eight years, than his excellent Sideways and Election, and, apart from Clooney's nuanced turn, it's a bit flimsy. It lacks Payne's customary wit and piquancy.