Hollywood Screenwriting Directory

The Descendants (2011)

Screenplay Genre: Comedy / Drama

Movie Time: 115 Minutes

INCITING INCIDENT

Hawaiian land baron MATT KING (George Clooney) discovers that his wife ELIZABETH (Patricia Hastie) will not recover from her coma, and her will states that she’s to be taken off of life support. (00:11:29)

LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Matt’s troubled teenage daughter ALEXANDRA (Shailene Woodley) tells Matt that Elizabeth was cheating on him. (00:27:28)

FIRST CULMINATION (Midpoint)

After telling all of Elizabeth’s family and friends that Elizabeth will not recover, Matt takes Alexandra, her boyfriend SID (Nick Krause) and their youngest daughter SCOTTIE (Amara Miller) on a trip to another Hawaiian island to confront Elizabeth’s lover, realtor BRIAN SPEER (Matthew Lillard). (00:55:20)

MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

After discovering Brian Speer will receive a large commission from the sale of Matt’s land, Matt and Alexandra confront Brian at the beachfront retreat where he is vacationing with his family. (01:25:14)

THIRD ACT TWIST

After his wife passes away, Matt decides not to sell the family land for a small fortune against the wishes of his cousins. (01:35:35)