"The Descendants" is more than just a story that unfolds before your eyes; it is about characters who reveal their hearts and souls, who are not afraid to share their fears and pain. 

Despite Elizabeth's ever-present death, life is what drives the story forward. The members of the King family are like the Hawaii islands drifting slowly apart who must painfully reexamine their lives and rebuild their relationship in order to move forward. 

As I watched “The Descendants” at the movie theatre, I had an urge to put thoughts to paper. There were many ideas running through my mind. Alexander Payne's films tend to do that to me - make me think. So, I took out my cellphone and typed the following to myself:

“It’s an interesting phenomenon to examine life though the point of view of death. It is through that outlook that one can more clearly see life as such: how we spend our days, how and whom we love, and how intensely we do the latter. Life is short. Live it honestly and fully.”