HUB Titles: The Kids Are All Right
I’ve never really been a fan of the Academy Awards. Sure, they tried to get on my good side by not giving Avatar any awards it didn’t deserve. Still, the Academy obviously has it out for my two favorite flavors of film: animation and comedy. I’m sure we’ll get to the former eventually, but as far as The Kids Are All Right goes, it’s the latter that is going to kill my buzz next February.
The Premise: Things start simple enough with normal mother Jules (Julianne Moore) and her wife Nic (Annette Bening). Things get complicated when their children Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson, who isn’t an American Gladiator) call the sperm bank to try and meet the dude who donated man juice to create them. Things get more complicated when said sperm donor, Paul (Mark Ruffalo), starts chilling with the kids and getting all Three’s Company up in the place. Wow, like we haven’t seen this story a million times. How about a little originality?
The Performance: It certainly is a dramedy, with the division about 60/40 drama. This definitely wasn’t a bad thing and the acting shows it. The spotlight shifted all over the place, but I would say Moore is the most likely to be nominated out of anyone. Every character had depth and evolved over the course of the movie. Ruffalo was pretty much a conflict producing machine but his character was well-defined and the best source of laughs. The kids go toe to toe with the adults and they were alright. They felt real both toward each other and to their dad, mom, and dadmom. Moore and Bening were believable as a happily married couple and had good chemistry and tension. Truly, an outstanding ensemble performance.
Other Thoughts: To bring my rant full circle, the comedic portions of this film are what made it great but will also be its undoing. The laughs lessened the impact on what would have been a depressing film otherwise. Those same laughs will keep it outside of the Best Picture Top Ten and could keep the Best Actress statue out of Moore’s hands. I didn’t get to see this movie until now because of its limited release but I’m hoping more theaters will mean more recognition and cash to fund quality like this. A movie about sex, drugs, and lesbians actually made me think about the complexities of life. Such a thing will surely never happen again. Not until 21st Sextury starts making 3D movies, at least.
Final Verdict: The Scott Pilgrim. It’s a work of art that you’ve probably never heard of. It’s funny but also has a serious message in there. Some real thought went into this and the final product is enjoyable from beginning to end. Unfortunately, it probably won’t get all the accolades it obviously deserves.