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

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.

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.


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