Mar 9, 2011

The kids are allright, 2010

The kids are allright, 2010
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Cast: Annette Benning, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo

Stage: Home theatre, almost HD :)

The kids in short: Nic and Jules are in a long term, committed, loving but by no means perfect relationship. Nic, a physician, needs to wield what she believes is control, whereas Jules, under that control, is less self-assured. During their relationship, Jules has floundered in her "nine to five" life, sometimes trying to start a business - always unsuccessfully - or being the stay at home mom. She is currently trying to start a landscape design business. They have two teen-aged children, Joni and Laser, Nic who is Joni's biological mother, and Jules who is Laser's biological mother. Although not exact replicas, each offspring does more closely resemble his/her biological mother in temperament. Joni and Laser are also half-siblings, having the same unknown sperm donor father. Shortly after Joni's eighteenth birthday and shortly before she plans to leave the house and head off to college, Laser, only fifteen and underage to do so...

Preps: I adore Moore and Benning, therefore two good reasons to see it. A family drama is a good description of the genre I would love to see again - in good shoes, I guess.

Reality: An excellent drama, bringing out all the devious stuff your children could think of when being raised and questioning themselves, who they are, who their parents are and what their role is.

The children want to know who the parents really are. Do they? Well, this movie brings a strong point to revealing these "secrets" at the early stage and not when they are teenagers. Lesbian relationship and motherhood is the second strong point, just waiting for the filmmaker to follow up on it. Philosophical dilemmas, really trying to pull through a perfect family. Even if it consists of two women that couldn't be more different in the way they perceive life, life choices, options, and the way they interact with everyday things or dilemmas.

Benning and Moore play an excellent role in this piece, firstly trying to seduce you with a perfect realistic way of living a normal life and afterwards complication when the biological father enters the premises. The children prove at this point their natural organic way of celebrating life as it is, with its ups and downs and accumulating or adopting to changes. On the other side, the older you get, the harder it is to change things from the way you used to cope with them to a newer, maybe even not necessarily better version. Therefore, a drama or a ironic comedy, filled with energy from the two ladies and every day scenes. You will find it really hard not to like this piece and easily to fill in the gaps that director left behind. As a woman, the perspective of dealing with things, the director of course puts in her perspective. I believe that a male director would not only see things quite differently, the movie would have a different course as a whole.

In some sense, the movie is also provocative. Can a lesbian family really (and I mean REALLY) function as a normal? What do the kids tell the others in school? It cannot be romantic like it is shown in the movie. But I leave this to the interpretation of the viewers. It was a thought that stroke me the most, while watching this.

My personal rating: 8,0 (a strong, feminine movie, still filling the gap with a guy and guy energy :)

The kids are allright on IMDB

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