Take your traditional family: add an extra mom, take the dad, and what do you get? The Kids Are All Right! This film has been played off as a simple comedy, which admittedly has perplexed me, but in the end feels more like a drama. It begins with a pair of kids, Joni and Laser, after being raised by two mothers, trying finding their biological father. While they love their mothers, the two are curious as to who their sperm donor is and what he is like. From there the relationships of this family reach into complexities which cause the audience to question their views on family, love, same-sex relationships, sperm donors, and a myriad of other things.

The acting is really what carried this film into becoming a Best Picture nominee. Julianne Moore and Annette Bening were both nominated for Best Lead Actress in a Musical or Comedy the Golden Globes earlier this year (Bening taking home the award). Bening has also been nominated for Best Actress in a Lead role in this Sunday’s Oscar ceremony, with many experts placing her to win. Personally, I was captivated by Mark Ruffio’s performance (he too has been nominated for his role in this film). He plays Paul, a dynamic character that ranges from Casanova to a man simply trying to come to terms with the existence of his children. He is confused and lost—Ruffio plays these emotions well!

The rarely mentioned kids from the film (they’re actually teenagers) are also wonderfully acted. One of the final scenes in the film is of the daughter character, Joni (played by Mia Wasikowska), standing alone in her dorm room for the very first time. It brings together the film showing that you are an individual, but that your true family will always be there for you. 

Will The Kids Are All Right take home the big award this Sunday? Probably not. Should you see it anyway? Yes.

It’s hard enough to open your heart in this world. Don’t make it harder.” -Paul

4 stars.


Photo from here.

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