The Kids are All Right
Autumn 2010 Features series
Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 4:00pm
Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 7:00pm
Directed by Lisa Cholodenko
Screenplay by Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg
Starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska
Rated 14A ·
The Kids Are All Right
Working with an award-winning cast and a fearless script, director Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon) redefines the contemporary family in this crowd-pleasing comedy. Paying close attention to the everyday nuances of family life, the story centers on the mid-life parenting crisis of a long-time lesbian couple whose lives are thrown upside down when the anonymous sperm donor and “father” of their two teenage children unexpectedly enters their lives.
Jules (Julianne Moore, Chloe, A Single Man) and Nic (Annette Bening, Mother & Child, The Women) have been together nearly twenty years, raising their two teenage children, Laser (Josh Hutcherson, Journey to the Center of the Earth) and Joni (Mia Wasikowska, Alice in Wonderland, Defiance), in Los Angeles. When her brother expresses his desire to meet his “father”, Joni, now 18, and exercises her right to contact their father, and inadvertently invites complication into their ordered family life. Enter Paul (Mark Ruffalo, The Brothers Bloom, Blindness), the anonymous donor, a free-spirited bachelor with few commitments in his life who is happy to meet his offspring. Their first encounter, kept secret from the “moms,” is understandably awkward, but soon the kids are regularly hanging out with the congenial Paul, until Laser inadvertently reveals their subterfuge to his parents.
Jules takes the news fairly well, but the ever-uptight Nic reacts unfavourably, worried about Paul’s potential influence on her kids, and responds by inviting him over for the first of two brilliantly observed dinner party scenes. As Paul enthusiastically becomes a tentative, adjunct member of the household, family bonds are tested – the kids embrace and relate to him, Jules develops an improbable attraction to him, and Nic increasingly feels like she’s losing her grip.
Anchored by the endearingly quirky comic performances of Bening, Moore and Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right is a hilarious and generous portrait of the churning tensions within every family.