The Kids Are All Right (15)



Comedy (2010)
106mins US

Starring: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Writer(s): Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

Control freak doctor Nic and her long-term partner Jules have each raised a child, Joni and Laser, using sperm from the same anonymous donor. The family unit is secure and happy, and the two women lavish love upon their well-adjusted teen offspring. When Joni and Laser decide to secretly track down their biological father, they bring organic restaurant owner Paul into their happy home. Nic understandably feels threatened but Jules tries to remain calm.

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LondonNet Film Review
The Kids Are All Right

The Oscars may be the glitziest and most glamorous date in the film industry calendar but as history attests, the golden statuettes rarely go to the most deserving...

The Kids Are All Right. Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner. Copyright: © 2010 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.Kirk Douglas, Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Peter O'Toole and Barbara Stanwyck may have collected Honorary Awards for their invaluable contribution to world cinema but they were all repeatedly snubbed for their dazzling performances in front of the cameras. With seven nominations and not a single win between them, Annette Bening and Julianne Moore join that illustrious list as two of Hollywood's greatest and shamefully unrewarded actresses. They are utterly fearless, willing to emotionally expose themselves to an audience to expose the human frailties of their characters. Both should expect further nominations for their scintillating performances in Lisa Cholodenko's touching comedy, an emotionally raw portrait of a family in crisis that doesn't ever become gloomy or depressing.

Control freak doctor Nic (Bening) and her long-term partner Jules (Moore) have each raised a child, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), using sperm from the same anonymous donor. The family unit is secure and happy, and the two women lavish love upon their well-adjusted teen offspring. "Come give us hugs," coos Jules, beckoning Laser to the sofa before he heads out for the evening. "Hug her. It's what she's there for," he responds truculently pointing to Nic, having reached that difficult age when public displays of affection are unacceptable. When Joni and Laser decide to secretly track down their biological father, they bring organic restaurant owner Paul (Mark Ruffalo) in their happy home. Paul is a slacker, who rides a motorcycle - a definite no-no for Nic - and is sleeping with one of his waitresses (Yaya DaCosta). Nic understandably feels threatened - "He's not a father. He's our sperm donor!" - but Jules tries to remain calm, accepting a job offer from Paul to landscape his garden. Unexpected sexual tension between Jules and Paul threatens everything the two women have worked so hard to build.

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Josh Hutcherson, Mia Wasikowska and Mark Ruffalo star in Lisa Cholodenko s The Kids Are All Right. Photo Credit: Suzanne Tenner. © 2009 Overture Films, LLC. All Rights Reserved.Co-written by Stuart Blumberg, The Kids Are All Right is blessed with a razor sharp script littered with stinging one-liners, and a heartbreaking confession scene when the entire family tearfully attempts to bridge divisions. Bening is sensational, unleashing barbed insults to mask her vulnerability and pain, while Moore harnesses a chilled-out, bohemian air. Timing is exquisite in fraught conversations between the family members, like when Jules tells Nic during a dinner party, "Honey, that's your fourth glass," and the doctor replies curtly, "Actually it's my third but thanks for counting." Wasikowska and Hutcherson are excellent too as the innocents caught in the crossfire, crying genuine tears as cracks appear in Joni and Laser's unconventional world.

- Sam Cannon


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