First, I want to talk briefly about the more readily available one. Though in a limited release, The Kids Are All Right has the benefit of Recognizable Stars to up its chances of getting an audience. And thank goodness for that, because this movie deserves to be seen. The movie is light, but the performances are fully realized. It's strange, because this movie does bring out the ol' Hollywood tropes: big speeches, college looming, bad best friends, outsider charms way into a family. And a cynical person may be tempted to say that no one would praise this movie as much if it was about a straight couple who used a donor as opposed to being what some are calling a "lesbian issue film".
Relevant cinema! The horror!
But what's wrong with gays having mainstream issue films? Everyone else gets them. And if they're as good as The Kids Are All Right, can we have more, please? This movie deals with families and marriage and growing up and the trust between spouses and the bonds between parent and child. These are universal themes that any family can appreciate and relate to. The parents here just happen to be women. And thank goodness for that, I say, for otherwise we'd be deprived some stellar work from Julianne Moore and Annette Bening.
That's what this movie is about, people. There's great direction from Lisa Cholodenko, and an admirable script by her and Stuart Blumberg. But this film is about the performances! Subtle, likable performances across the board! Annette has a great moment in Act Three that...well, it's really the basis of her inevitable Oscar campaign, isn't it? Julianne Moore charts this heartbreaking and relatable arc that kills me. Mia Wasikowska finally emotes and Josh Hutcherson makes me sorry he's not going to be Peter Parker. Mark Ruffalo? Best performance he's given since Zodiac. A solid ensemble all around, and best of all: it comes with a believable family dynamic! Hurrah!
Yeah, I highly recommend it, and I stick to my earlier predictions for Best Actress and Best Picture nominations. The film's that good.
And as for that other film I saw...well, that deserves a separate post!