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Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Kids Really Are All Right

When it comes to watching movies these days, we're strictly Pay-Per-Viewer's. So we just now watched "The Kids Are All Right", which was released back in July. The movie is being hyped from uptown to downtown, has already been anointed as an Oscar front-runner, and we're happy to report that it lives up to every inch of its hype, and then some. It is, quite simply, a stunning movie.."The Kids Are All Right" tells the story of happy lesbian couple with two children whose lives are altered when the man who had been the sperm donor for their children years earlier comes into their lives. The performances are top rate, the direction is tight and the script is fresh and oh, so smart. Director and writer Lisa Cholodenko has just elevated herself onto the A-List of Hollywood directors with this one, but even more impressive is that script. With very little action, and sometimes, little dialogue, Cholodenko manages to keep us completely intrigued, and even guessing what will happen next. You can bet she'll get a Best Director Oscar nomination, but even better, you can bet she'll win the little golden man for Best Screenplay..
And then there are the performances of the actors. Annette Bening has been mentioned for several months as a contender for Best Actress, and so as we watched the movie, we kept one eye out for that scene, or scenes, which were Oscar-worthy. For the longest time, we just didn't see it, and were beginning to wonder if we'd be duped by the hype, and then suddenly, it came. Many actors have won Oscars for just one scene, but this might be the first time in history that an actor wins an Oscar for just one facial expression. There is "that look" that Annette Bening gives Julianne Moore immediately after "the discovery", and let us just say that if it's possible for one facial expression to express a thousand emotions, Bening's in that scene proves it. It's an incredibly powerful scene, and Bening knocks it out of the fucking ballpark. And if "the look" doesn't win a trophy for Bening, then being able to make the word "interloper" sound really, really dirty certainly will. We're guessing they can go ahead and engrave Bening's name of the statuette. The only person standing in Bening's way is Julianne Moore, who also turns in a complex, multi-layered, stand-out performance. How sad that they'll probably have to go up against each other in the Best Actress Oscar category. But if they can somehow manage to put Moore into the Supporting category, look for both actors to walk away winners.
(josh hutcherson, mia wasikowska and mark ruffalo)
.The other star of the film is Mark Ruffalo as the "donor daddy". Ruffalo has never been better than in this movie, and it's his arc from a care-free player to a lonely man yearning for human connection that might just win him an Oscar as well. He's getting strong competition from Geoffrey Rush in "The King's Speech", though, but Ruffalo will definitely get a nomination, and even if he doesn't win, this film will open the doors for him to win many more heavyweight A-List roles.

(mia wasikowska and josh hutcherson)
The beauty of a film like "The Kids Are All Right" is that, in addition to winning accolades for its veteran stars who have been slogging away in Hollywood for decades, it also makes for an impressive showcase for new faces. The three younger stars, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson and Yaya DeCosta all do themselves proud and will probably springboard from this job to real careers. Wasikowska has already starred this year as Alice in the Johnny Depp vehicle, "Alice in Wonderland", and there's an outside chance she could snag a Supporting Actress nom for her turn in "The Kids". Wasikowska has a pale, ethereal beauty and a quiet strength about her; we'll see a lot more of her in the next couple of years. Hutcherson is perfect as the sensitive jock of a son, and Yaya DaCosta is, quite honestly, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful women we've ever seen. We'd definitely like to see more of this stunner. She only has a few small scenes in this movie, but when she's on the screen, you can't take your eyes from her. Oh, and speaking of physical beauty in the movie, kudos to director Cholodenko for finding a way to incorporate vintage gay porn from Colt Studios in the movie, which must have brought a smile to the face of our friend, Colt owner John Rutherford..
(yaya dacosta)
Do yourself a favor and see "The Kids Are All Right". You'll be moved, you'll be surprised, and you'll be amazed. It might not have the action of a Jason Statham shoot'em up, but it's a damn good movie.

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