Saw The Descendants yesterday, was really impressed: it’s about a woman in an irreversible coma and how her husband deals with it. George Clooney plays the husband -and without his particular, ironic performance, the picture wouldn’t work. Because it’s a dark comedy, almost Chekhovian in feeling, and the actor needs to be able to bring out the comic aspects of the story. Otherwise it would be an unrelieved downer. Very brave of Fox to green-light this picture, it’s not major studio fare by any means, feels more European in fact. My respect for Clooney soars, he’s one of the few American actors who can play on two levels simultaneously…and believably. Kevin Spacey is another, Frank Langella a third in a very small data-base. I mean Ben Affleck in this part wouldn’t work. With this picture, the writer/director, Alexander Payne, has established a baseline, his first flick being the very funny Sideways with Paul Giamatti. I will anticipate whatever else he chooses to give us.