Posts Tagged ‘The Kids Are All Right’

The One Line Review: There is nothing right about this film and no excuses either.

The Verdict: The Ls and Bs of Queer Diaspora were up in arms about the cloudy sexual identities, ‘lesbian sleeps with man’ cliché and cheating. Personally, I couldget past that, but I was outraged that such a heavyweight cast were wasted. Worse yet, I found the kids respectively obnoxious and tedious- both entirely unsympathetic. I have been hearing about this film for months, on the webs and by word of mouth and whilst there is a lot of debate about the nature of the portrayal of a long term lesbian relationship in the film, most people did say it was a good film with good performances.

I hated every minute of it. I like all of the stars and have really enjoyed other films they have been in, I quite like Lisa Cholodenko too, but everything about TKAAR made me cringe. All of the kissing and the sex just felt unseemly and unecessary, the endless Cali therapy-culture talk was awful too (to my British ears it sounded like satire, but they played it seriously.) I thought the scene where Annette Bening sings Joni Mitchell at the dinner table would never end- I would have hit fast forward but my hands were occupied trying to cover my eyes and ears.

I suppose the point of the film is worn on its sleeve: Whether despite, or because, of their parenting and parentage, the eponymous kids do eventually make the right choices. They have angst and nueroses and bad influences, but ultimately, they sort themselves out without significant outside influence. It seems that, though they may be flawed, the adults in their lives do have good intentions and subsequently, the kids are alright. But the way the point is made misfires.
I wish I could say something in favour of this film, it looked quite nice I suppose, but I hope I never see it again.

and seriously- what offical allows people to call their child Laser?


I’m not a fan of online lists. I have tried to provide considered content on this blog and not lazy journalistic filler, but I have made a pledge to be less precious and post more often, so there will be a higher incidence of fluff betwixt the articles henceforth. In typically contrary fashion though, I have waited till list season has drawn to a close before casting my pearls of wisdom.
As best I can, I have tried to recall all the films I saw for the first time in 2011. This is a valuable exercise, at times surprising. I am always chiding myself for not keeping any kind of log of the films I watch or the books I read, or the gigs and shows I attend. I know it would serve me well when I am seeking new reads, or as a source of reference when compiling lists etc, but it just isn’t my style- I am not a meticulous keeper of records, I just like to absorb my culture (pop or otherwise) and move on. The drawback of course being a few months/weeks/days later I have no idea what I have consumed.

So: I can remember all four films I saw at the cinema I believe and LoveFilm helpfully lets me know what they’ve sent me. Anything from Blockbuster or on Television I’ve had to scrounge up from memory and I know there are significant omissions. I will cast an eye over my in-house collection and try to recall which are new additions. Still, there are about eighty odd on my list already, which isn’t bad considering I thought I’d hardly seen any films this year. I can’t even imagine the number I must have seen in the last five years.
That’s clearly far too many to summarise in one blog post so, in honour of the Year of the Apocalypse, I shall select twenty and review each in only one sentence- from these I shall nominate twelve  to receive a more considered appraisal over the next twelve days. Hope you enjoy.

Miyazaki's Ponyo

1. The Illusionist (Sylvain Chomet, UK/Fr, 2010)
Beautiful, elegiac paean to a bygone era and the inexorable loss that is fatherhood.

2. Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki, US/NL, 2004)
Utterly tragic, desolate expose of the legacy of abuse.

3. Victor/Victoria (Blake Edwards, UK/US, 1982)
Unexpectedly risqué and open about gay lifestyles in the Seventies VV makes subversive use of Andrews’ impeccable voice. [Apparently it was made in the Eighties. Comment stands]
4. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Edgar Wright, US/UK/Ca, 2010)
Just perfectly put together: the look, the dialogue, the casting- someone finally perfected the formula.
5. The Kids Are All Right (Lisa Cholodenko, US, 2010)
There is nothing right about this film and no excuses either.

Mysterious Skin