Title: The Kids Are All Right
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Writers: Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg
Music: Carter Burwell
Cinematography: Igor Jadue-Lillo
I have watched this film twice before I am going to write this review, namely it is my most anticipating film of the year. The most sensitive issue (and slightly annoying) is whether my goddess Moore could get her fifth Oscar nomination next year while Bening has already been selected as the frontrunner in the race of BEST ACTRESS in a Leading Role 2011 (along with Natalie Portman from BLACK SWAN 2010), plus a crowded year for leading actress (Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence, Leslie Manville, Michelle Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, Diane Lane and even Halle Berry), I hate to admit that Moore’s chance is not very promising.
After watching the film for the second time, my conclusion is that this film could be this year’s JUNO (2005) or LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (2006), waving the INDIE flag and directly running towards the ceremony. Also if Bening could get a nomination, Moore should deserve one as well (of course as a leading actress), since they equally balance each other in their opposite roles and create a magnetic tug-war which is heartfelt and poignant, their performances are daring and subtle, convincingly persuasive in every gesture and expression. Bening’s role as the control freak and dominant figure of the family easily stands out while Moore’s talent is more like an undertow throughout the film, with a second watch, it amazes me with perfect precision indeed.
The script is excellently well-crafted, centers on the martial crisis between a lesbian couple and their two kids’ pubescent troubles when their biological father intruded into their lives. The dialogue between two leads pinpoints the mundane frustration
and bitterness which one could receive from the significant one, as shit happens but life must continue. I am not sure for a lesbian, having sex with a straight man is a plausible way to get some relief, the chemistry between Moore and Ruffalo is surely sparkling. Ruffalo also gives a marvelous performance to prove his charm on screen, so I do feel sorry for his character eventually since in the end he is the most pitiful one.
This is a comedy about average family life, the lesbian stunt is just to catch audience’s eyes, gay or straight, no one really cares, basically it is a sincere masterpiece with a witted-script and outstanding performances, maybe its Oscar road is rough, the bottom-line is that without doubt it is on the list of my all-time guilty pleasure.