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The Kids Are All Right

Posted on

Annette Bening, Julianne Moore
Suzanne Tenner

The Kids Are All Right

Current Status:
In Season
106 minutes
Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Josh Hutcherson, Mia Wasikowska
Lisa Cholodenko
Focus Features
Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko

We gave it an A

STARRING Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson
DIRECTED BY Lisa Cholodenko
WRITTEN BY Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg

After the release of her 2002 drama Laurel Canyon, writer-director Lisa Cholodenko and her partner, composer Wendy Melvoin, decided they wanted to start a family using an anonymous sperm donor. ”Just being the kind of person I am,” Cholodenko says, ”I spent a lot of time kind of meditating on this question: What does 18 years later look like?”

The answer became The Kids Are All Right, an R-rated dramedy about a lesbian couple (Julianne Moore and Annette Bening) whose 18-year-old daughter (Alice in Wonderland‘s Mia Wasikowska) and 15-year-old son (Bridge to Terabithia‘s Josh Hutcherson) track down the anonymous sperm donor (Mark Ruffalo) who fathered them both — upending everyone’s lives in the process. While the subject matter of the film is topical, Cholodenko wanted to keep the focus on the family. ”It just tells a story,” says Bening, ”without ever nailing it down and making it ‘political.’ That is so moving to me.”

Not that Cholodenko didn’t spice this particular family’s story with some intriguing details. ”Everything looks as normal as possible,” she says, ”[but] if you peel that away, the moms are watching gay male porn. Everybody has their thing.”