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'The Descendants': First trailer up for the George Clooney/Alexander Payne collaboration

May 26, 2011 |  2:48 pm

Fox Searchlight has just released the first trailer for Alexander Payne's adaptation of "The Descendants," Kaui Hart Hemmings 2007 debut novel. The film stars George Clooney as an absentee father who suddenly finds himself responsible for the care of his two daughters when his wife falls into a coma after a boating accident.

From the two-minute trailer, you get the sense that Clooney is back in Oscar-fighting shape, playing a wearied father dealing with his past actions and the new realization that his wife had been cheating on him. The idea of Clooney partnering with Payne, who seemlessly mixes deep emotion with dark humor, is appealing to any movie lover. The real test will be whether Payne, who hasn't made a film since 2004's "Sideways," is up to the task.

Check out the trailer below. Does it work for you? Do you think the film is headed for the Oscars? Or are you saddened that Clooney the heartthrob is looking gray and rather schlumpy?