Go easy on the wine, hon. it’s daytime. – Ok, and same goes with the micromanaging!
From the previews I gathered that this would be a slightly funny and enjoyable film to watch. Was I in for a surprise! I absolutely loved this film. It is beautifully shot. It has great acting – especially Annette Bening is superb! It’s not about being gay, having a family and having family issues. It’s about having a modern family unit and trying to get this unit to work under difficult times when the structure of the unit is changing. It’s about how a family will unconditionally have your back!
More is More!
Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) are a married couple in Southern California. Nic is a highly driven doctor, who has a liking for red wine. Who can blame her! Jules drifts from one venture to another while feeling quite restless. They have two teenage children from the same sperm donor. It’s Joni’s (Alice in Wonderland’s Mia Wasikowska) last summer at home before heading to college. Laser (Journey to the Center of the Earth’s Josh Hutcherson), the 15-year old son, wants to track down their biological ”donor dad”. They manage to do this without their moms’ knowledge. They find a thirty-something Paul (Mark Ruffalo), who is a groovy bachelor restaurateur and a co-op farmer. Growing organic veggies has never before looked this inviting! The moms soon find out and want to meet him and “kill him with kindness”. Jules, who is feeling underappreciated in the marriage and stuck in her life, ends up having an affair with Paul.
Those veggies certainly look yummy!
The Kids are All Right explores how the changes in the family dynamic affect the whole family. In this case, Joni’s departure to college is the underlying factor. Julianne Moore says that one of the reasons why she was drawn to the script was that it’s about where you are when you’ve been in a relationship for a long time and you have children. She also describes her character’s life pretty much being about staying home with the kids and because of that for Jules the idea that Joni is leaving home now is major.
Don’t be a zoomer!
Annette Bening delivers a powerhouse performance as a slightly neurotic but likeable Nic. She portrays confidently a complicated woman, who knows exactly who she is and is comfortable in her own skin. Bening won a Golden Globe for this and rightly so. The whole movie I was mesmerized about how much she can say only with pauses and facial expressions. Also you have to love the fact that Annette Bening has matured naturally (and beautifully) in this youth obsessed society.
I like my wine, ok! So f***ing sue me!
Lisa Cholodenko’s and Stuart Blumberg’s screenplay is heartfelt throughout. It gives the opportunity for all the actors to explore their characters in-depth. It deals with modern family issues, which are familiar to all of us. It is emotional, but at the same time funny. I also love Cholodenko’s direction and the camera angles.
Modern Family Life!
The Kids are All Right has great scenes, such as the restaurant scene when Nic has a meltdown about composting (right there with her!), and the dinner scene when Nic and Paul sing a Joni Mitchell song. The most touching scene is close to the end of the movie, when Jules apologizes to her family. I love Annette Bening’s physical response – how you can see her fighting not to cry. I don’t think anybody can watch that scene without tearing up.
Hug her – that’s what she is there for!
Posted in cinema, comedy, drama, film, movies
Tagged Annette Bening, film, Golden Globe, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Lisa Cholodenko, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, movie, Stuart Blumberg, the kids are all right
Dignity – Always Dignity
Singin’ in the Rain is one of my all-time favourite movies. It is such a feel-good movie, which has it all – fantastic acting, dancing, singing, and dialogue – set against the twenties glamorous looking Hollywood. Why didn’t I live back then?! This movie celebrates the joy of filmmaking, joy of love and joy of friendship. It is a buddy comedy mixed with romcom.
You let go – no; you let go first
In the movie Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) and Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) are huge movie stars, but then comes the transition from silent movies to talking movies. They are faced with a problem of how to make a musical with an actress who is a triple-threat (can’t act or sing or dance)? And whose speaking voice is higher than Mickey Mouse’s on helium. With a cunning use of a lovely unknown actress – of course – who can do all the above.
Household names – like bacon and eggs
Singin’ in the Rain has been quoted as the best Hollywood musical ever made and it absolutely lives up to that. The transitions between dialogue and dance / musical numbers are seamless. This is the first musical where the songs were actually incorporated into the plot in the way that they enhance the characters’ emotions instead of being a separate part of the movie.
Why did I think I could pull off a hat with this outfit?
The film features a 12-minute Broadway Melody Ballet dance number, which took a month to rehearse and two weeks to shoot. My favourite song and dance number is “Good Mornin.” It just makes you want to get up and start dancing and singing for no apparent reason. No, I did not do that – I thought to spare my neighbours from wondering who was terrorising a cat.
The most famous scene of the movie is “Singin’ in the Rain.” It was actually shot during daytime under a black tarpaulin. During the filming the technicians lost water pressure in the late afternoon when the residents of Culver City, US arrived home and turned on their sprinklers to water their lawns and gardens. Gene Kelly once said when asked about how he was going to approach this scene: “It’s going to be raining and I’m going to be singing. I am going to have a glorious feeling and I am going to be happy again.” That quote summons up the feeling in this movie. It is glorious to be happy!
You have been reading those fan magazines again – smashing it up Glee-style
The real triple threat of this movie is its three main stars. Gene Kelly holds such a charisma that during the dance numbers you cannot take your eyes away from him – he dances with such ease. He also co-directed and choreographed the movie. So it’s no wonder that Singin’ in the Rain is considered by many to be his masterpiece. Donald O’Connor as Cosmo delivers fantastic slapstick comedy especially in the “Make ‘Em Laugh” number. He went on to win the 1952 Golden Globe award for “Best Motion Picture Actor in a Musical or Comedy” for his performance. Debbie Reynolds as Kathy is such a pill of joy that you feel energized for days. At the time of filming “Singin’ in the Rain”, she was 19 years old. Gene Kelly, whose character falls in love with her character in the movie, was 40 years old at the time.
If you’ve seen one – you’ve seen them all
Posted in cinema, comedy, film, movies, musical, romance
Tagged debbie reynolds, Donald O'Connor, film, gene kelly, Glee, Golden Globe, Jean Hagen, movie, musical, singin' in the rain