Monday, July 26, 2010

This 'Kid' is Oscar bait

“The Kids Are All Right”

Three stars

By Thomas Tracy

Oscar and his friends at the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will have to cut their summer vacation short — “The Kids Are All Right” is out and destined to generate several acting nominations.

Yet these fresh and unique performances are the only aspect of the Lisa Cholodenko-directed family drama that elevates it above the morass of similar flicks found every Sunday night on the Hallmark Channel.

In fact, the story is so simple we’re surprised that we haven’t already seen it on the Hallmark Channel: Lesbian couple Nic (Annette Bening, “Running With Scissors”) and Jules (Julianne Moore, “Chloe”) have the perfect family, until their two kids take steps to learn about the sperm donor their moms used.

With one phone call, the motorcycle-driving, womanizing, free spirit Paul (Mark Ruffalo, “Where The Wild Things Are”) enters the picture and begins to turn the family dynamic inside out.

It doesn’t take long for the fractures that already exist in Nic and Jules’s relationship to become deep fissures, leading one of them to stray in a predictably trite way.

Still, stand-out performances by Moore, Bening and Ruffalo keep everyone glued to the screen. The mini-moments when Bening realizes everything’s falling apart are worth the price of admission alone.

But these Hollywood heavyweights have to watch out for a young upstart if they think their time on the red carpet is assured. Newcomer Mia Wasikowska (“Alice In Wonderland”) should also be considered for an Oscar nod. As Nic and Jules’s, daughter Joni, Wasikowska nails her performance of a young woman trying to find herself in that summer of purgatory between the end of high school and leaving home for college, proving that, in fact, the kids are all right.

“The Kids Are All Right.” Starring Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. Directed by Lisa Cholodenko. Running time 104 minutes. Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some teen drug and alcohol use. Playing in Brooklyn at BAM Rose Cinemas and Cobble Hill Cinemas.


Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP