The Kids Are All Right – Review

The kids are all right

The Kids Are All Right  (7/10)

USA 2010 – Directed by Lisa Cholodenko. With Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson

This is one of those film that walks the fine line between comedy and drama and for most of its length succeeds in doing so pretty well. It’s not going to be on anybody’s list as a top favorite film of the year, but it certainly does a good job in being honest and to be fair it always manages to avoid falling into that cheesy Hollywood swimming pool of clichés.

What really elevates this film to something above your usual average comedy is the tight and fresh script with particular attention to details, but more than anything the acting of every single character in the film. Annette Bening will probably get her nomination once again for this: the moment when she (SPOILER ALERT!!) finds out about the betrayal of her partner and especially the moment where Julianne Moore apologizes to her and her kids, is probably one of the finest moment in her acting career. Julianne Moore is good too, but then again this doesn’t really surprise me anymore (nor it surprises me to see her taking her clothes off once again!). Mark Ruffalo manages to portray a character who full of flaws and acts badly as sympathetic and likeable. Even the two kids are very very good. The are given a proper script through which they can actually act their age instead of having to stick to unbelievable characters (like in June for example, which I did like, but it was all a bit unreal). Mia Wasikowska had already shown she could act in the beautiful “In treatment” on TV. I truly hope she’ll be able to do a lot more in the future.

The film is about an unusual family in an unusual situation and yet behaving in the most usual way. Even though the couple is a lesbian couple, the film doesn’t really linger on that too much. In fact it could probably work just as well if the couple had been a non-gay one. I didn’t find it offensive or exploitive (maybe because the director is actually gay herself and she’s willing to play with the clichés without making it all about them. It’s all about the characters and the details.

This is a very gentle film, about family values and emotions. though it might not have any stand out laugh out loud moments it certainly manages to keep a smile on your face pretty much for its entirety and I have to confess, by the end of it I even found myself shedding a few tears here and there.

7/10

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