Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Kids Are All Right review

Brokeback Mountain was too soon for Hollywood right?  It didn't win a Best Picture Oscar.  Hollywood wasn't prepared to let a film about gays win gold, or so the rumors go.  Fast forward to 2010 and Hollywood seems to be a lot nicer.  The Kids Are All Right has now been nominated for 4 Oscars.  Whoa!  The movie is about a lesbian couple (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore), and their two children (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson).  As the children get older, they want to meet the man who's sperm helped create them through artificial insemination (played by Mark Ruffalo).  Let's begin.

What I liked about the film:
The Story
It's a cute and original story about a family that could easily exist in our modern times.  I could only imagine adopted children searching for their biological parents, much like the children in the film search for Ruffalo's character.  The drama occurs when Moore's character begins an affair with Ruffalo behind Bening's back.  Ignoring the execution, it's a great, original story. 

The Cast
I think every actor nailed it, but one (wait for the dislikes to find out who).  Even though Bening's character is an absolute B; she nails it.  She is the strong minded, head of the household figure; and she was rewarded with an Oscar nom.  Moore is the one actor in this film who was snubbed.  She has perhaps the most difficult role in the film, and also goes through the biggest transition.  It's too bad there are only five slots, otherwise, she would have easily been a sixth choice for the academy.

The kids do fine in their respective roles.  Wasikowska's character was born from Benning's character, and boy are they similar.  Strong headed, leaders, etc.  Hutcherson was born from Moore's character and the same thing, he's just like her too.  Passive, submissive, underachiever, etc.  The young actors did well with their material.

What I didn't like about the film:
Mark Ruffalo
Oh man I'm going to get ish from FattMatt.  Believe me, I had trouble even typing out his name just now.  I usually LOVE Ruffalo's work.  I am a huge fan.  But this is my opinion... he was God awful.  He plays this hippie, nothing is a big deal douche bag.  Some might say "that's just his character"; I say no.  The character is supposed to be a charismatic womanizer, that is a good father figure, but has an affair with Moore, but loves women, but wants a family.  A pretty complex character right?  Ruffalo plays him so monotone it's unbelievable to me that he was nominated for Best Actor Oscar.

The Director
Lisa Cholodenko was even considered for a Best Director Oscar nomination?!?!  What the heck.  She would have been nominated for a character piece, and Christopher Nolan who had literally one million things to keep track of with Inception didn't?  I just don't get it.  Any director could have filmed this movie.  Anyone.  It's a character piece.  It wasn't a sweeping epic, or war film, just five main characters and the way they live their lives.  I don't get it.

The Verdict:
I did not like the film at all.  In fact, when the final credits began to roll, I cursed the screen and asked for two hours of my life back.  Maybe the hype was a part of my disappointment.  But I doubt that, because I usually don't feed into the hype, just formulate my own opinions; as you can tell by the contradictory review.  The film did well in theaters and I think Moore was definitely snubbed.  Bening will unfortunately lose to Natalie Portman who absolutely kills it in Black Swan.  Again, this is a big time pass for me.  Wont see it again.

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