In what has already won her awards recognition, Julianne Moore stuns as a victim of early onset Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, a film which struggles to match its stars formidable strength. Alice (Moore) leads a privileged life. Married with three kids and a successful career that’s reliant on her intellect, Alice’s world slowly starts to break down as she’s diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s. Continue reading “Review: Still Alice (2014)”
After the action-heavy drive of the previous instalments, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is decidedly sober and contemplative in comparison, but no less thrilling. Bunkered down in District 13 after being saved from the Quarter Quell, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) reluctantly concedes to become the face of the rebel uprising. Her reluctance quickly turns to intensity, however, as President Snow (Donald Sutherland) continues his tight dictatorship, using Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) as bait. Continue reading “Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014)”
Julianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right) and Scarlett Johansson (Lost In Translation) have signed on to star in fellow actor Joseph Gordon Levitt’s directorial debut, The Playlist is reporting.
The actor, known for his roles in Inception and 500 Days Of Summer, will direct the as-yet-untitled film – about a modern day Don Juan character who sets out to better himself as a person – from a script he wrote himself.
Moore, who received praise for her turn as Sarah Palin in HBO’s Game Change Continue reading “Julianne Moore And Scarlett Johansson To Star In Joseph Gordon Levitt’s Directorial Debut”
Who is Emma Stone?
It’s a question that has an array of different answers. Asked a mere five years ago, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who had a clue. Aside from a few brief appearances in Malcolm in the Middle and the Medium, she was an unknown, studying away at acting school, doing whatever she could to get herself noticed. Asked today, however, and most people would probably reply with something along the lines of “OLIVE PENDERGHAST FROM EASY A”. Okay, maybe not Continue reading “Emma Stone: Hollywood’s New ‘It’ Girl”
In a year of disappointing and miscalculated comedies (Larry Crowne and Chalet Girl are two that immediately spring to mind), Crazy, Stupid, Love is a wonderful return to form. Co-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s follow up to last year’s surprisingly sincere I Love You Phillip Morris is a suitably mature addition to the oft-contrived rom-com genre.
Happily married simpleton Cal’s (Steve Carell) life is thrown into turmoil when his wife, Emily (Julianne Moore), suddenly demands a divorce. Now Cal, a man set in his ways, has to adjust to being single, with a little help from ladies man Jacob Palmer (Ryan Gosling). Continue reading “Review: Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)”
Director: Glenn Ficarra and John Requa
Starring: Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone
Lisa Cholodenko directs The Kids Are All Right, a mainstream comedy drama about modern family life.
The film centers on Jules (Julianne Moore) and Nic (Annette Bening), a strained lesbian couple living in the suburbs of California, who each gave birth to one of their children using a sperm donor.
When the eldest child, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) turns eighteen, her brother, Laser (Josh Hutcherson) asks her to initiate contact with their biological father, Paul (Mark Ruffalo), an attractive, single, laid-back restaurateur
Each of the family members respond to Paul in different ways: free-spirited Jules welcomes him with open arms; head of the family Nic grits her teeth; Joni hits it off with him straight away; while Laser almost rejects him and his self-centered attitude.
The partnership between Moore’s Jules and Benning’s Nic is pitch-perfect. Their personalities are vastly different, but appear to work well together. It’s only during the film as events reach a head that the true reality of their relationship is exposed. Both actresses handle the material beautifully, forming an understandable, and wholly believable, lesbian couple.
Ruffalo delivers one of his most under-stated, yet dignified performances, displaying a range of emotions through the body of an often immature and underdeveloped man. Paul breaks the equilibrium, forcing each character, in turn, to re-address their position within the family.
Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson as the children, Joni and Laser respectively, both provide clever and self-assured performances. Wasikowska in particular, in that tricky second film, shows she’s blossoming into a fine adolescent actress.
Cholodenko’s direction is superb, using the correct lighting and camera shots to add meaning and depth to each of her scenes and character profiles. Despite sometimes verging on static, she always manages to pull it back, the sign of a truly exceptional director.
The screenplay is well executed. Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg are able to find the perfect balance between humour and afflicting, allowing viewers to empathise with each character, never influencing our interpretation. Cholodenko’s personal experience with sperm donation quite clearly had an influence on the film’s narrative, but the film evidently benefits from the personal touch, managing to avoid common clichés and melodrama.
By exploring an experimental model of family, Cholodenko bravely introduces viewers to subject matter not normally addressed within Hollywood films. While this may put off some people, it’s something those willing to accept should celebrate.
A subplot focusing on Laser’s friendship with wayward skater Clay feels unnecessary, and the kids’ parts often feel slightly less integral than that of the adult trio. However, these are minor pitfalls, and never detract from the overall enjoyment or meaning of the film.
In all honesty, The Kids Are All Right a fantastic film, exuding charm, wit, love, insecurity and anguish at every appropriate corner. In essence, it’s a film about the struggles of human relationships, and shows a family’s love has the potential to overcome any obstacle. It’s certainly one of the finer films of the year.