Saturday, July 10, 2010
The Kids Are All right is right on!
Proceed with caution, this entry contains minor spoilers.
The Kids Are All Right is the kind of movie I like best. A contemporary American comedy that comments on the way we are living today. It tells the story of a couple (Julianne Moore and Annette Bening) whose teenage kids (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) decide to contact their sperm donor biological father (Mark Ruffalo). What follows is a charming, funny, thoughtful and touching comedy. And it's a perfect gem of a movie. Full of real characters and relateable situations.
The script by Lisa Cholodenko (who also directed) and Stuart Blumberg is so spot on. There are elements of the story that I was apprehensive of (one of the gay mom's affair with the straight donor dad), but they felt right and were real. The writing is so good that all five main performances are almost perfect. Ruffalo is charming and sexy and makes you realize why people would be attracted to his basically overgrown kid. Wasikowska and Hutcherson are very believable and offbeat in different ways. And it's almost always hard to play a 'real" teenager, but they pull it off.
Moore plays the flighty underachiever with warmth and wit. She has a fantastic comedy moment reacting to a surprise kiss. Fantastically funny. And she gets a big scene where she explains her character, and she nails it. While I love Julianne, Bening was amazing in this. The way she butched it up in her walk and her voice. Plus she gets the best lines and the best scenes. And it's all subtext, just how she reacts. Watch a lifetime of marriage reflected on her face when Moore is talking about her "career". And in another scene towards the end, she punches the audience in the stomach with the authenticity of her feelings of betrayal. I loved how it got all quiet and it was all about Benning's acting and her face...wow. Not to mention her mini breakdown in the restaurant scene where she unravels and comes clean about being threatened. She may finally win that elusive Oscar.
Great great movie. The minute it ended, I wanted to see it again immediately. Best of 2010 so far.