Thursday, March 3, 2011

The kids are all right

"Comedy dramas can be quite an acquired taste, seeing how the humour only serves as a mere distraction from a usually dark central focus. Neverhteless, when done right, these movies can have a very powerful impact on its viewer.'The kids are all right' joins the list of comedy drama masterpieces that include 2004 Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, 'Sideways'.

As as the case with Sideways, 'The kids are all right' relies heavily on the performances of its leads and it is in this respect that the film scores top marks. The star studded cast truly deserves individual recognition: Mark Ruffalo, known best for his role in blockbusters like 'Just like in heaven' and 'Date night' plays a philosophical tree hugger that gets caught up in the lives of a very complex and troubled family. Whilst it wasn't good enough to win him an Oscar, it probably still is his best performance to date, as it gives him the opportunity to show he has the capacity for more intriguing characters.

Completing the film's weird love triangle is two very believable lesbians in the form of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore. Moore, who has seen her fair share of movie misses (Next, The Forgotten, Saving Grace) and a few hits as well (A single man, Children of men etc.) delivers one of her most powerful performances, as a woman who is struggling to balance her role as mother with her role of lover. Anette Bening (American Beauty, Being Julia) is as amazing as ever, playing a very different chararcter archetype than Moore, helping to give the film a beautiful sense of acting diversity. Bening and Moore's on-screen chemistry is also fantastic to behold, as they naturally fluctuate between conflict and support for one another. 

"Completing the film's weird love triangle is two very believable lesbians..."

Rounding off the cast are the two children caught up in all of the ensuing drama, namely Josh Hutcherson, best known for his emotional showing in 'Bridge to & Terabithia' and Mia Wasikowska, known for her memoable role in Tim Burton's rendition of 'Alice in Wonderland'. Even though Moore and Ruffalo's performances stand out, the overall impact of the ensemble cast's combined strength is what really makes this film shine.

The plot is solid, well-paced and gives the actors more than enough room to stretch their acting muscles. In true black comedy style, the film ends as open-ended as it begins, leaving audience members with a weird lingering quality that hangs in the air for a considerable time after the credits start to roll. Add to this a fitting soundtrack and great camera work and you have the makings of a classic.

To sum up, The kids are all right is a satisfying 'slice of life' comedy drama that contains some memorable performances from the entire cast. A worthy addition to the Golden Globe's Best Motion Picture awards list.

Highlight: Moore's confrontation with her gardener is as funny as it is sad.

Not your average family set-up, but who are we to judge? 
Rating: 4-and-a-half Meerkat Tails