On The Kids Are All Right
It was playing at ONE theatre for only ONE showing on Sunday. 10am. Made me crazy. But I dragged my sick ass out of bed last weekend because I wanted to see it so badly. Jacek came with me. And it was SO worth it.
You already know about the Oscar buzz coming right out of Sundance. And given its reviews so far, the Oscar buzz is still building. Hopefully it can be sustained. Because oh my God Annette Bening, why the f-ck doesn’t she have one? When you see The Kids Are All Right you’ll be just as astonished.
And I hope they don’t label it because of the way they cut this trailer. You know the people who do the labelling. The ignorant f-cks who call Brokeback Mountain a “gay cowboy” movie, I hope they don’t label it the “lesbian movie”. It’s not a lesbian movie. It’s a Marriage Movie. It’s a Relationship Movie. It’s a Parenting Movie. It’s a Communication Movie. It’s a really, really great movie about two people in a rut, and how that rut can eat away at all the things you love, and how all the things you love can also be all the things that hold you back.
How do you make that work?
We will be married 9 years in November. 9 years! It’s hard. Sometimes when I’m difficult and unreasonable – often – and there are horns coming out of my head (for no reason), he has to remind himself why I’m his wife. Sometimes I have to force myself to tune into what he’s saying because, frankly, sometimes what he’s saying is so boring. Sometimes he looks at our credit card and can’t understand why I have one. Sometimes I have to resist the urge not to hiss when he brings me water and only fills it up half way. To say nothing of the fact that we run a business together, we worry about the business every day, we see each other every day, we disagree every day, and on top of that there’s our extended family drama, and not having enough time, and managing our friendships, and we don’t even have children. It’s hard.
On our 3 year anniversary it was so hard we sat down and gave each other a year. We promised to work on it over the year but came to an understanding that at the end of that year, there was a good possibility it would be over. It was hard. And it’ll probably get harder. But we’re still here. Because I really miss him when I’m away. And I laugh when he makes fun of my small head. And he thinks I’m more interesting than any girl he’s ever met. And when we were hiking down to the cove with the dogs the other day, and I was yelling at him that my feet were hurting in my flipflops, he patiently ate it while I bitched the entire way down to the water – 10 minutes. And for now, that makes up for the times when we make each other feel small, or forget to appreciate, or just don’t bother. We do that a lot too. Even while we’re pretending to talk.
In a much funnier, much more clever way, The Kids Are All Right captures all of it without going over the top, without long monologues and that OVER obviousness that plagues so many movies. And this is especially true of Annette Bening’s performance. She is so natural, and so free, and so f-cking good, you will love it for her even if you don’t love the story.
And that’s the heart of Kids – the acting. It’s Un.Believable acting. Annette’s is the best, I think, of her career. That’s saying a lot. Julianne Moore is, as usual, outstanding, Mark Ruffalo, in addition to being HOT AS F-CK in his leather jacket, has really, really wonderful timing, and amazing chemistry with both women. And Mia Wasikowska – that’s a bright future. I never thought I’d like a lip quiver as much as I liked Angela Chase’s.
How will it shake out?
Bening and Moore have equal screen time. But strategically, I’d split them up to increase the chances. It’s still VERY early. This is VERY premature. But if I were the studio, I’d consider slotting Bening for Best Actress so that she and Moore don’t have to go head to head, and Moore in Supporting with maybe Mia too, and Ruffalo in Supporting as well.
One last note about why Kids is Gold: Annette and Julianne are gorgeous women, totally. But... there are times, many times, when they don’t look so great in this film. They look old(er). They are NOT 25. Not even 30, not even 35. There is sagging. There is sun damage and cracked lips, bags under eyes, creases around the mouth. There is bad hair, unflattering clothes, and many, many lines across aging faces. It’s a wonderful selling feature for a really beautiful film.
Ask Eva Mendes if she thinks that’s brave.
PS. A few of you expressed concern after the trailer came out about the lesbian obviously kissing the straight man and how trite that plays out. In context, once you see it, totally makes sense. Will do a live blog about it in a couple of weeks once you’ve had a chance. GO.