NOT SINCE PROPERTY CLASS: A lot of folks are likely to see The Descendants because of its Oscar buzz, and some because of its trailer, which erroneously sells it as a madcap comedy, and some brave souls may now be more interested in seeing it knowing that it invokes the Rule Against Perpetuities as a major plot point. I really admired parts of it, particularly the performances from George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, and a surprising dramatic turn from Judy Greer, but I found myself unsatisfied by the end--without spoiling things here (though the comments are fair game)--it seems we're building to a moment of catharsis, and then, instead, we opt to end in a moment of quiet. In that way, it reminds me of Payne's prior About Schmidt, which ended not with Nicholson exploding, but with a moment of peace.
It also seemed to polarize the audience, with some applause at the end (seemingly primarily from the older set), but a fair number of folks grumbling that it was the worst thing they'd seen in a while. I find myself in the middle, though the older folks may drive it to a few nominations (screenplay and Clooney seem the naturals).