Put Annette Bening and Julianne Moore at the top of this year’s Best Actress race, they are the heart and soul of The Kids Are All Right. They play a married couple that go through the same issues any other hetero married couple would go through. Bening with her devious but honest smile is a tour de force as Nic, a woman that only wants the best for her children, even when she can sometimes come out looking harsh and honest. Julianne Moore, playing Jules, is her wife. Jules feels isolated and resorts to an affair with their kids’ sperm donor Paul -magnificently played by Ruffalo (almost a sure thing for next year’s Supporting Actor race). The scenes between Moore and Ruffalo are tremendous, sexy, touching and extremely honest.
Paul owns a restaurant but is haunted by the wasted potential of his life, meeting Jules and the kids makes him want a family to settle down with. Jules already has that and commits to the affair only for excitement and the isolation her partner has brought on. The hot sex they have brings much needed intimacy to Jules’ sex life, If you don’t believe me check it out for yourself it’s ragingly hot. Ditto Moore, who’s both sexy and terrific in her best role in years. Being the huge Julianne fan that I am, I cannot help but warmly welcome this comeback.
Much credit must be given to Writer/Director Lisa Cholodenko, who infuses realism and indie spirit to the film. Cholodenko -36- hits a career peak with the film. While her first two features (High Art & Laurel Canyon) had the potential, The Kids Are Alright shows it wasn’t just anything. Born and raised in California’s San Fernando Valley, Cholodenko makes high art out of family manners. Her personal life -she also had a kid through sperm donation with her long time partner Wendy Melvoin- makes this a personal and rewarding independent effort, even when the film hits through melodramatic bumps in its last third. Judging by the critical acclaim this film has gotten, expect it to get some well deserved awards in the months ahead.