When you first find out your spouse has been cheating on you, the first few emotions in the roller coaster that is to follow are definitely anger and hurt. Anger thrown at the person whom you’ve loved and trusted with all your heart and soul could ever betray you. Hurt that your lover could bear to do that to you, and shared an intimacy with someone other than you, and continued to lie and live a lie until the day you found out.
But take that revelation and throw in an accident and an unconscious spouse who will soon be unplugged, and you’re guaranteed a roller coaster of emotions, and then some.
George Clooney sheds his cool man image to play Matt King, a Hawaii-based lawyer, father to 2 young daughters, and husband to the aforementioned cheating spouse, who’s in a coma due to a boating accident. It is now left to Matt to pick up the pieces and move on with life, together with his 2 young daughters in tow, a task that is very foreign and new to him, as he realized he’d been too busy with work all his life to know how to care for his daughters.
Amid this personal tragedy, Matt has to also oversee a major decision to sell the last parcel of land that the King family owns in Hawaii, so that they can split the family inheritance and divvy up the monies among the King cousins.
Then there is, of course, the thorny issue of the 3rd party, someone by the name of Brian Speer. Did she really love him? Does he really love her? Does he have a right to know about his wife’s accident and subsequent plan of unhooking her off life-support? Would Matt be big enough and strong enough to go tell him about it?
That’s a lot of issues to be handling all at once, and Clooney eats up his role and spews his array of emotions at us with glee (and in turns sadness, anger, frustration, resignation, happiness) in what must be his best performance to date.
It is no wonder he is nominated for Best Actor at the academy awards for this wonderfully moving performance.