Ever since the Ocean’s franchise wrapped up in 2007, George Clooney has taken a fascinating detour into an onscreen midlife crisis, playing an assortment of apparently perfect Clooney-esque ultra-men suddenly confronted with a weird emptiness in their life. It was true in Michael Clayton, Burn After Reading, Up in the Air, even Fantastic Mr. Fox, and it looks to be true of The Descendants, the December film in which Clooney plays a family man trying to hold his family together after his wife falls into a coma. The setting is Hawaii, but things are hardly idyllic: Clooney’s character, a self-described “back-up parent,” has to deal with his irascible daughters… not to mention the revelation that his wife was having an affair. Hard to believe, but this is the first film Alexander Payne has directed since 2004’s Sideways, so expect laughs mixed with bitter sadness. Also, Robert Forster punches a punk teenager! Watch the trailer after the jump…

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