The Kids are All Right Lisa Cholodenko

The Kids are All Right Lisa Cholodenko
If we're to take movie posters at face value, The Kids Are All Right could be one of the most devious films to ever reveal itself. Lisa Cholodenko's tale about two lesbian-raised teenagers who decide to seek out their biological father had the makings of playing out like a heart-warming, yet quirky, indie, à la Little Miss Sunshine. Instead, it's anything but. When brother Laser (Josh Hutcherson) and Joni (Mia Wasikowska) decide to track down the man that donated sperm to their mothers (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore), they find more than they bargained for in organic restaurateur Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Letting him into their lives, Paul exposes the cracks in the familial foundation, to the point of near-disaster, proving no relationship is invulnerable. And while it's the second-half's unfolding drama that delivers the most memorable scenes, the film isn't without a light side. Cholodenko's script, with Stuart Blumberg, feels as though it was written with all of the actors in mind. Come Oscar season, the three adult leads, as well as the picture, are destined to get recognition. But if there were any justice in this industry, the Academy would recognize ensemble acting and its importance in filmmaking, because these Kids would definitely be the favourite. Unfortunately, the extras don't hold a candle to the film. Two featurettes, "The Journey to Forming a Family" and "The Making of The Kids Are All Right," might sound like they offer up different content, but come off virtually identical: behind-the-scenes interviews discussing family dynamics. Cholodenko offers up a commentary, once again waxing about family, of which she has a sperm-donated child with partner Wendy Melvoin (yes, the Wendy Melvoin of Wendy & Lisa and Prince's band, the Revolution). As well as discussing the naturalism of her actors and how important it was for her to keep the drama somewhat low-key, we also learn how Erykah Badu was originally chosen to play Ruffalo's love interest, Tanya. It's a role that eventually went to America's Next Top Model contestant Yaya DaCosta. Plus: "The Writer's Process" featurette. (Alliance)