My take on The Kids Are All Right

My take on The Kids Are All Right

So, I went out to see this movie with the next Incredible Hulk, a star of Jurassic Park, the star of the Johnny Depp Alice in Wonderland, one of the kids from A Bridge to Terabithia, and a star of Mars Attacks!

Geek cred intact?  Okay, let’s talk about this movie.  😉

It’s not fantasy or sci fi.

It’s a family drama…although not super heavy.

I did like it, but I have to say, I wasn’t as blown away as a lot of the critics were.  There are a number of factors in a movie like this: the director; the script; and the performances, primarily.

I was impressed with the directing by Lisa Cholodenko.  One of the interesting things was that who the main character was seemed to shift appropriately several times during the movie.  That’s hard to do…I couldn’t tell you one person upon whom the movie was centered, but it wasn’t just a mish mash or a moment in the sun.  Several characters concerns were front and center for a period.  I would definitely want to see something from this director again.

The script, by Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg, was charming.  It was realistic, which means both a bit sad and funny, but not bland.  There were definitely a few quotable lines, but the plot held together nicely as well.

I thought Annette Bening was great!  I could definitely see her getting nominated for an Oscar (but I’m not saying she will…I don’t want to jinx it or anything).  😉  I found her performance moving and convincing.

Mark Ruffalo was a revelation.  This isn’t the way I think of him…as a representative of what’s male about being male.  He isn’t a macho idiot, by the way…he’s still a good guy.  But a really male guy.  🙂

Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson as teenage siblings were authentic and interesting.

No, unfortunately, I didn’t like Julianne Moore’s performance.  It was a typical Moore performance, I’d say…I’m just not a big fan.  I don’t find her authentic.  I do find her interesting to watch.  She’s like, say, Humphrey Bogart or Cary Grant, in that sense.  You always know you are looking at Bogart, Grant, or Julianne Moore in a part.   In a movie like this, though, I did find that a bit of a weak link in an otherwise strong movie.

You certainly may not see it that way…maybe that’s just me.  🙂

As to content warnings, yes, there is nudity and sexual activity. 

On the Oscar watch, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the following:

  • Cholodenko for best director
  • Cholodenko and Blumberg for script
  • Bening for Best Actress
  • Mark Ruffalo for Best Supporting Actor (although that category is often  debatable)
  • The movie for Best Picture (especially with ten nominees)

Moore could be nominated for Best Actress, but I need to see the competition firm up first.  I’d give Yaya DaCosta an outside shot at Supporting Actress, but her part was rather small…she was dynamic on screen, though.

I would expect it to get several technical nominations as well.  I think music, editing, and costumes all have a shot, and there could be others as well.

For me, it was almost a great movie, and definitely a good one.

The Kids Are All Right reviews at MRQE

The Kids Are All Right credits and box office at IMDb

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.


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