The Kids Are All Right (2010)

LISA CHOLODENKO

Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB.

USA, 2010.  Focus Features, Gilbert Films, Saint Aire Production, , Antidote Films, .  Screenplay by Lisa Cholodenko, .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , , , , , , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

 and have raised two children together and are now in for a change of pace as daughter prepares to go to college. They’re in for an even bigger shock when they discover that their kids ( being the other one) have found out the identity of the sperm donor who created them years ago () and have begun a relationship with him. Family lines get blurred as the kids are drawn to this charmingly unkempt man who seems enthusiastic about becoming a father figure, while Bening resists the intrusion upon her clan with a force that sets her apart from her much more open and accommodating wife. Trouble brews even hotter when Ruffalo’s leering glances at Moore begin to be reciprocated, and from there begins a hodgepodge of sexual mess that takes the rest of the movie to sort out. Director Lisa Cholodenko gets a little lighter in this sweet, heartfelt film about a family in crisis than she has been in the past; her plot is melodramatic but rarely feels contrived, always buoyed by a bright feeling that makes it bearable and featuring enough difficult and awkwardly real moments that are practically unbearable. Bening is riveting as the put-upon member of the family who feels the weight of responsibility on her shoulders at all times, while Moore beautifully counters her as the more capricious spouse who can’t seem to pull herself together. The kids are more than alright, with Wasikowska playing brainy and bold with beautiful subtlety and Hutcherson very sympathetic as the sullen teenager who keeps asking questions without knowing how to deal with the answers.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Picture; Best Actress (Annette Bening); Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo); Best Original Screenplay

Golden Globe Awards:  Best Picture-Musical/Comedy; Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Annette Bening)
Nominations: Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Julianne Moore); Best Screenplay

Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations:  Outstanding Motion Picture Cast; Best Actress (Annette Bening); Best Supporting Actor (Mark Ruffalo)

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