FAMILY VALUES: A family with two moms (played by Annette Bening, left, and Julianne Moore, second left) is shaken up when their two teenagers track down their sperm donor father (played by Mark Ruffalo, right).
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.
Here the status quo is a
21st-century family living a comfy life in California. There are two
moms: Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore), who have each
had a child via the same anonymous sperm donor. Their 18-year-old
daughter Joni (Mia Wasikowska) is about to leave home for college,
while their 15-year-old son Laser (Josh Hutcherson) struggles with
issues of sexual identity caused in part by the all-female environment
he has grown up in. To help him fill in some of the blanks, he
persuades his older sister to contact the man whose sperm allowed this
particular family to form. She's hesitant, but once her own curiosity
gets the better of her, she makes the call.