A pretty good litmus test for the entertainment value of a movie is to watch it with my sister, Blara. Usually she clocks about 20 minutes before she gets up and starts wandering around the movie theater, re-organizing her purse on benches and bathroom sinks—a far worthier activity, in her opinion—until the screening ends. If the movie is particularly interesting, she will fall asleep on your shoulder.
So imagine my surprise when she not only sat through the entirety of The Descendants on Thanksgiving evening, but also stayed awake. It could have been the sugar she consumed, which numbered in the thousands of calories. It could have been that her attention span has mysteriously lengthened. Or it could be that the movie is…actually good?