Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Kids Are All Right

So as you may know, the 2011 Golden Globes have just occured, and there was some backlash towards the nominees for best musical/comedy, with critically derided films such as The Tourist, Burlesque and Alice In Wonderland being nominated for the award. Red was also nominated, but I seemed to be the only one who didn't like the film. If there was one safe bet, it was that The Kids Are All Right, a dramedy by Lisa Cholodenko, would take home the Golden Globe for Best Picture - Musical or Comedy. Thankfully, showing that there is justice in the world, it did, and it was well deserved, because The Kids Are All Right is a funny, moving and bittersweet film that features fantastic performances from its great cast and makes you really feel for the characters and the lives of these characters.

Julianne Moore and Annette Bening play lesbian mothers Jules and Nic, who are married and have two children, 18 year-old Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and 15 year-old Laser (Josh Hutcherson). Laser is curious to meet the person who donated their sperm to Nic and Jules, and so he gets Joni, who is preparing to leave for college, to make the call to find their biological father. Their 'father' happens to be a man named Paul (Mark Ruffalo), who begins to develop a strong relationship with Jules, which puts Nic and Jules marraige, and Jules' relationship with her children, on the line.

The cast, who are all well-suited to their roles, and have great chemistry between them, have never been better. Bening, who won a Golden Globe, is fantastic, with her witty quips and likable presence throughout. Alice herself Mia Wasikowska is also excellent. She shows an acting ability that she never really got to display in Alice In Wonderland, and her American accent is flawless. Hutcherson once again proves that he is one of the more promising and talented actors of his generation, and Moore has never been better. Mark Ruffalo is a notable mention, as he is absolutely perfect for his role as Paul, perfectly capturing the character's cockiness.

The script is refreshing, funny, and also very touching; all the elements you want from a film like this. There are many scenes here that are so awkward that they're as uncomfortable as they are delicious to watch. Cholodenko assures that the film, with the dysfunctional family, rings true, and it most certainly does. She also assures that the film's message about society's general perception of the gay community doesn't get in the way of the film itself and overpowers it, much too often the case with films that include social commentary these days.

The film kind of goes off the rocks during the second half, perhaps hindering the emotional impact that could have been, but The Kids Are All Right is more than alright, it's fantastic: funny, endearing, engrossing and better than any comedy from 2010. Right on! 

4.5 out of 5

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