THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT is the best reviewed film of the year
We are very excited to open THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT Friday at the Alamo South Lamar. It was a breakout hit at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was one of the most celebrated and sought after pictures on display. Since then, it's been knocking the socks off of almost every critic across the country, getting top honors and raves from even the most cynical of reviewers.
Marc Savlov of the Austin Chronicle gives the film four stars, and calls it "one of the most honest and painfully, hilariously accurate portraits of an American marriage and its resultant, tumultuous family ever put on film. It may be the most honest." This sums up the film perfectly, but much of the beauty of THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT comes from its individual parts.
The film's all star cast is led by Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, who play a married lesbian couple with two children. Their performances are fantastic. Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal, who calls the film "thrillingly funny and casually profound," describes the women as "played to perfection" by the talented actresses. "Foreign-language films have subtitles; this film has subtexts that enhance every scene between the two women—unspoken anxieties, insecurities, vulnerabilities, comical but corrosive hostilities."
Into the lives of this happy and distinctly modern family comes the previously-anonymous sperm donor, sought out by the two curious children. This donor is played by the ever-cool and charming Mark Ruffalo who, according to Ann Hornaday at the Washington Post, "draws on every ounce of his considerable sex appeal to play Paul, a mellow, somewhat feckless restaurateur who can seduce just about everything he sets his sights on."
Hornaday also notes the very strong performances by the children, newcomers Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson. She especially praises Wasikowska, writing, "Within an ensemble of consummate pros, Wasikowska shines as a young woman grappling with the push-and-pull of a lovingly enmeshed family and forging her own fragile identity."
This film, more than anything, is a refreshing change of pace from the typical heart-warming indie films that clutter the American landscape. Rather than focusing on the torment/redemption of the severely dysfunctional family, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT is about a well-adjusted clan with healthy and good natured children whose hearts are in the right places. The fact that the film is about an alternative family, led by two Sapphic matriarchs, makes it all the more exciting. In the USA Today, Claudia Puig describes this uplifting quality: "What makes this story so effective is not that it strives to be relevant in its depiction of a gay couple raising children but that it captures real-life rhythms and sincere concerns — both everyday and existential — experienced by families of all kinds. Theirs may be an unconventional family, but the quandaries and problems are the same as in most families."
This is a film for those adults who are looking for an escape from the blockbusters of this season. Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times writes, "Whatever your politics, between peerless performances, lyrical direction and an adventurous script, this is the sort of pleasingly grown-up fare all too rare in the mainstream daze of this very dry summer."
You should see this movie this weekend at the Alamo South Lamar, so that you have a chance to love it and see it again. We're opening it at the Lake Creek theatre next Friday for you North Austinites, too.