Sunday, September 19, 2010

All Right Now, Baby It's A-All Right Now

"The Kids Are All Right" is surely among 2010's finest, most satisfying and honest films, and if you haven't seen it, run, do not walk, to your local cineplex!

You've probably heard it's that 'lesbian couple with kids meet the sperm donor movie,' which is like calling Gone With The Wind 'that southern chick lives through war and gets married three times film.' The one-sentence premise doesn't do justice to the depth and quality of the film, and in any case, a good film transcends its premise. I got past the idea of 'female boxer' flick and 'gunman avenging mutilated whore' picture to see the terrific Oscar-winning films 'Million Dollar Baby' and 'Unforgiven,' respectively..

'Kids Are All Right' is the triumph of a director/screenwriter (Lisa Cholodenko) who doesn't flinch at likeable but messy characters, and at the frictions and frustrations in the sinew of even the closest families. It's also a wonder of perfect casting and chameleon-like acting by veterans Annette Benning and Julianne Moore, who so completely inhabit the harder and softer halves of a lesbian couple that you could forget that the former is the female that tamed Hollywood's most notorious bad-boy womanizer (Warren Beatty). Mark Ruffalo is pitch-perfect as the laid-back dude who explores sudden parenthood when his sperm-donated-offspring seek him out..

But Kudos to 'Kids' wouldn't be complete without hosannas for the accomplished newcomers who play the couples' college-bound daughter and high-school-sophomore son, Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson. Both create authentic, indelible and very specific characters while perfectly capturing the awkwardness, tensions, and ambivalence of their age - she's bright and restless but shy and demure; he's not yet comfortable in his own skin, and hungering for some fatherly attention, the spark of curiosity that upends this family's existence, altering their dynamic and bluring their boundaries. Oh, just see it. Oh, and the music's terrific, too! Go Vampire Weekend and MGMT!

Watch the trailer...

Here Julianne Moore and the younger cast members discuss the film in an interview at last year's Sundance festival..

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