Friday, November 5, 2010

Review: The Kids Are All Right

Yes guys, I am going back to reviewing movies. Don't worry, I am going to do Audrey's profile today or tomorrow, but I just couldn't resist writing this review about this nice indie movie. It might have a lot of connection to the Best Actress category though as I have a feeling that I will write at least another (performance) review of it.
The movie tells the story of a lesbian couple, Jules and Nic (Julianne Moore and Annette Bening) who have a very decent life, raising two great children, Laser and Joni. However, everything changes when Laser and Joni decide to contact the sperm donor, Paul (Mark Ruffalo). The women are quite stunned (especially Nic) and the arrival of this man really upsets everyone and lots of unexpected things happen.
First of all, the screenplay is simply brilliantly written and should win the Oscar hands down. It's really the definition of "Best Original Screenplay". It so perfectly keeps the balance between hilarious comedy and a family drama, that it's simply stunning. The dialogues are simply hilarious, witty, real and very credible. The same goes for the memorable scenes. Sometimes it's the comedy of errors and misunderstandings, which really cracked me up. So briefly, I just loved the writing.
The kids are giving excellent performances here: they never go over-the-top, they are absolutely believable and real, always staying in character. They are not nomination-worthy, but they are doing a good job.
Mark Ruffalo is said to be a hot contender for a nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category. He gives a very good performance, though he wasn't amazing as Paul. I liked that he put some irony and drama into the character, so if he gets the nom, it will be very well deserved, but I would not give him the win.
Naturally, if we are talking about The Kids Are All Right, the main question is: Annette or Julianne? Many have said that this is going to be the next Thelma and Louise and they will both receive nominations, but I find it (unfortunately) unlikely, though I would love to see that.
The performances and characters are polar opposites: Julianne is the fun-loving, lively, wild woman and Annette is the serious, down-to-earth, realistic one, who's very sensitive and vulnerable inside. The chemistry between the two women is just excellent: they are making a really loveable, nice couple, who just look well together.
I have been a fan of Julianne Moore for some time and she did not disappoint here either: she was excellent, showing many faces of her character. She really caught the fun-loving, free spirit of Jules and her desire to create. She's quite probably the most ironic character in the movie. Her big monologue at the end of the movie is really quite great, though I thought that it would be much longer and more emotional. But I loved it the way it was: sensitive, bitter and desperate, but also full of love.
However, for me this movie belonged to Annette Bening, who gives a breathtaking performance as Nic. I have never been a fan of hers, actually her huge fanclub sometimes even annoys me, but I just cannot overlook her brilliance in this movie. You know, there's a reason why she's said to be the front-runner to win the award in February: first, she's overdue and I really cannot imagine anyone not voting for her after her two big losses. Second, she actually deserves it for this movie. She's so delicate and adds so much vulnerability to her character. She's quietly effective and silently hearbreaking. Her scene in front of Paul's bathroom mirror and later the confrontation scene between her and Julianne is a heartbreak: there are so many emotions right there, which really left me speechless. I can see that people love the "grand acting performance" with many loud moments and this is not like that, but I just loved it.
So come Oscar time, I hope that this movie is recognized at least with several nominations and hopefully some wins too. It's one of the best feel-good dramedies I have ever seen. The director, Lisa Chodolenko (I really have to mention her name) created something really extraordinary and loveable. Great job.
Grade: 9/10 It's not an instant classic, but definitely a must-see.
Predicted nominations: Best Picture; Best Actress (Bening); Best Supporting Actor (Ruffalo); Best Original Screenplay
My wins: I don't know yet. I have much to see, but I would be happy if Bening and the screenplay won.

1 comment:

joe burns said...

A screenplay nomination is worthy, but I just thought Benning was not very special. Moore was much better in my opinion.