annette bening

Film

Hidden beauty

American Beauty (1999), directed by Sam Mendes

Extreme times demands extreme art, and American Beauty is extreme. It is an extremely funny, extremely touching, extremely disturbing look at the dysfunctions of suburban America. But it does not wallow in dysfunction. It dares to find hope amidst the horror.

Film

The Kids Are All Right

Directed by Lisa Cholodenko

The Kids Are All Right has been on a roll since its premiere at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It is directed (and co-written) by Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon), a filmmaker who favors stories about characters who initiate change. Some­times this change is intentional, other times inadvertent, but by the end the status quo is reshaped.