THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHTYou can watch the trailer here
I know I'm really late in seeing this movie, but I finally got the chance now that it's out on DVD. Thank God for NetFlix, right?
The Kids Are All Right, which was directed by Lisa Cholodenko, follows Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore), a lesbian couple raising two teenage children, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson). The kids take the liberty of finding their sperm donor father Paul (Mark Ruffalo) without their parents' knowledge and meet him. As the kids begin to grow attached to Paul, Nic begins to worry that she's losing a grip on her family. Jules also begins to grow towards Paul after he hires her to landscape his back yard. The continual movement towards Paul and away from Nic eventually leads towards an explosion of emotion, but I won't get into the specifics for fear of giving away too much of the plot.
I was actually extremely impressed with the film's screenplay. On the surface, it reads just like your everyday family drama, with ups and downs and semi-expected twists and turns, but something about The Kids Are All Right just felt a little bit different. Maybe it was the fact that our lead parents are both female, but they still conveyed the same emotional ranges that a heterosexual couple would have. In thinking about it, I think that straight people (or maybe just me) have this idea that a homosexual couple would have a completely different dynamic should they maintain a long-term relationship such as a marriage with children. But instead, I saw a relationship that's very similar to what I'm used to seeing in mainstream media, and I think that helped the film. I think it goes a long way to show that love is just love, regardless of who the lovers are.
As much as I loved the storyline and the screenplay, I think most people will watch this movie because of the big-name actresses attached. When the film was released in the summer, a lot of the speculation was whether Bening or Moore would be receiving an Oscar nomination in a leading role. Honestly, it could go either way, and both have scored leading actress nominations for the upcoming Golden Globes, albeit in the comedy category (I personally saw the movie as a drama more than a comedy). I only hope that they don't both get nominated in the same category for an Oscar because that could essentially prove costly in that neither may win (although it'll be tough to beat Natalie Portman's performance from Black Swan). However, not enough has been said for the other three main actors in the film. Ruffalo has SAG and Independent Spirit Award nominations for his supporting role, but I haven't heard anything about either Hutcherson or Wasikowska. Sure, they're not quite as good as our big three, and they're not going to garner any nominations, but they're still very, very good in their respective roles.
All in all, I think this is a definite must-see heading into the awards season. It should pick up at least a couple Oscar nominations - I'd be shocked if neither Bening nor Moore finds her way into the Best Actress race - but I guess we'll have to wait and see. Do yourself a favor and give it a watch. You won't be disappointed.
Current All-Time Rank: Best - #84
2010: 6 nominations, 4 wins