The traditional family drama gets a provocative twist in this year's preeminent romantic dramedy The Kids Are All Right. Oscar nominees Julianne Moore and Annette Bening star as a gay married couple with two kids trying to battle the throes of their relationship when their kids decide to get curious about their biological father.
Jules and Nic (played by Moore and Bening, respectively) are slowly drifting into their own marriage hell when the lethal mix of emotional distance, Nic's dominance and Jules's submissiveness rear their ugly heads. Then their children Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson) decide to seek out their Dad out of sheer curiosity during Joni's last month at home before she heads to college. The distance between their parents grows even further when the mere addition of the cool, motorcycle-riding dad Paul (played by Mark Ruffalo) threatens to disrupt their tight family unit. The impact Paul has on the family causes Nic to suspect that he may be causing her family to crumble like a stack of cards. But, like in any family drama. what doesn't kill them makes them stronger in the end.
Moore and Bening shine in this poignant film with Moore nailing her signature performance of a woman holding on to her last string of hope and Bening letting her fear of losing her family dictate her actions. Together the performances mark the perfect recipe in a beautifully written story is both funny in the most surprising parts and touching when it needs to be.
Reel Talk rating: A