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The Kids Are All Right

Nic and Jules had the perfect family, until they met the man who made it all possible. 

Year: 2010 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Lisa Cholodenko 
Starring: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo  
An image from The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right is a moving depiction of the endurance of familial love in spite of adversity. Lesbian couple Nic (Bening) and Jules (Moore) and their two children Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson) are the unconventional American family at the centre of this touching film from Lisa Cholodenko. Conceived by artificial insemination, Laser convinces his elder sister to contact the sperm bank, who in turn contact their biological father Paul (Ruffalo). After Laser inadvertently reveals this to their two mothers, Paul and the children begin to forge close bonds, and an even more unlikely friendship develops between Paul and Jules, much to the disdain of Nic.

Cholodenko weaves humour and heartbreak to assemble an acutely observed portrait of familial life that is orthodox in its problems in spite of its unorthodox constitution. The political topics of lesbian parenting and sperm donation are not what is central to this film; rather, Paul is the catalyst for an exploration of married life, and the difficulties that arise within the often monotonous daily existence of long term relationships, which are universal and inescapable.

An eclectic soundtrack that amalgamates the classic with the contemporary (Joni Mitchell with Vampire Weekend) reflects the examination of two generations; regardless of their age difference, the two are indistinguishable in their feelings of uncertainty. Insecurity and sexuality are thematic concerns that permeate the narrative, revealing Nic, Jules and Paul to be equally as perplexed by life as their adolescent offspring.

Harriet Wood

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Screenings of this film:

2010/2011 Spring Term (35mm)