Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just watched...

..."The Kids Are All Right" directed by Lisa Cholodenko (watched in what felt like a futile effort to catch up on the never-ending Netflix queue).

A gentle exploration of the complexity of sexuality, marriage, and relationships, “The Kids Are All Right” is by turns funny, uncomfortable, light, and serious. It is always intelligent, never talking down to the audience or pandering to obvious choices.

Annette Benning plays Nic and Julianne Moore plays Jules, a married gay couple in LA who have each given birth to a child by the same anonymous sperm donor. Now that their daughter is eighteen and their son is fifteen, the kids—without their mothers’ knowledge—contact their birth father, played by Mark Ruffalo. Nic and Jules each have their own reaction to the sudden presence of a stranger in their family. The difficulty is that he is a part of their family, even though he is a stranger. How does one navigate such a situation? Well, there are as many ways of navigating it as there are people to do the navigating. This particular story is engaging, charming, and true to life because of the portrayal of the all shades of gray in the sexual spectrum. There are some bold choices in the plot and I admire openly gay director and writer Lisa Colodenko and her co-creator Stuart Blumberg for presenting such choices. I also really appreciated the fact that there is no neat wrap-up, no pat answers, and no perfect ending tied with a bow for the audience. Life is a journey, relationships are a journey, and how we interact with these things is an on-going process, organic and unfolding. You just have to do it and see…

Recommend? Absolutely.

Benning won a Best Actress Golden Globe for her work (Moore was also nominated for the same award for her work as Jules), and the film won a Golden Globe for Best Picture. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and Cholodenko and Blumberg were nominated for Best Screenplay.

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