The Kids Are All Right review

On February 27 don't be surprised to see Annette Bening and Julianne Moore in the audience at the Oscars. Their performances in The Kids Are All Right are that good. They play lesbian couple Nic and Jules, the two Moms of 18-year-old Joni and her younger brother Laser. As Joni prepares to fly the nest, Laser persuades her to track down the sperm donor used by both theirs moms to get pregnant.

Into their lives comes organic restaurater/farmer Paul who suddenly discovers he has two almost grown-up kids. Nic and Jules have differing reactions to the arrival of this new part of their family life and that's the main thread of the film's story – at heart it's about family, however unconventional it may be.

There are terrific performances by all five leads, not just Bening and Moore. Wasikowska shows she's more than Alice In Wonderland with Joni, the too perfect daughter who strives to meet her Moms' expectations. Hutcherson gives a sweetness to the jock-ish Laser who seems to crave some male attention in his life and I really liked Ruffalo as the laid-back guy who's happy hooking up with his staff but slowly begins to realise what he's missing out on. But I think it's the two women who really stand out. They are both thoroughly convincing and both brought me to tears (and that's not because one of them sings!). In the pivotal scene on which most of the plot hangs, Bening broke my heart and then later when apologising for her actions, Moore had me again wiping away the moisture from my eyes.

Yes, it's an unconventional set-up, but actually The Kids Are All Right is quite a conventional film. It's the story what makes a family – a biological relationship or an emotional one. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The Kids Are All Right at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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