Film Screening 4th March, 2011

Poster for The Kids Are All Right

The Kids Are All Right 

8:00 PM, 4th March, 2011

  • MA
  • 101 mins
  • 2010
  • Lisa Cholodenko
  • Lisa Cholodenko, Stuart Blumberg
  • Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska

This movie takes an honest look at family life, although through a different lens to normal Hollywood fare – in this case the family comprises lesbian parents and two teenage children, who were fathered by an unknown sperm donor.

Canberra’s own Mia Wasikowska (Joni) shines alongside notable actors Annette Bening (Nic), Julianne Moore (Jules) and Mark Ruffalo (Paul). Joni is an 18 year old, A-grade student about to leave home for college and her younger half brother Laser (Josh Hutcherson) is a 15 year old who seems unable to find the right role model in his non-conventional life. Perhaps in a search for identity, Laser convinces Joni to secretly find and contact their sperm donor ‘Dad’, Paul.

As it turns out, Paul is an organic farmer and restaurateur, who wears lots of leather necklaces and rides a motorcycle – so he is ‘cool’. However, it doesn’t take long for Nic & Jules to find out that their kids have found ‘Dad’ and they insist on meeting him. From there on in, their carefully built universe begins to spin dangerously off its axis. For Paul, he gets a glimpse of what his life might have been like if he’d taken a more traditional approach to his relationships. However there is always a sense that things are not going to turn out rosy, despite how ‘cool’ you might be.

To find out how this intriguing mixture turns out, you’ll need to be there....and you won’t be disappointed as both the movie and Bening are serious contenders for Oscars.

Karl Dubravs

Poster for Mother And Child

Mother And Child 

9:56 PM, 4th March, 2011

  • MA
  • 121 mins
  • 2010
  • Rodrigo García
  • Rodrigo García
  • Naomi Watts, Annette Bening, Jimmy Smits, Samuel L. Jackson

When I first saw a trailer for this movie, I made a mental reminder note, because with a cast that includes Bening, Watts and Jackson, it’s got something going for it right there. However, when I found out it was directed by Rodrigo García, I knew I had to see it. García directed one of my favourite movies of the last five years – Nine Lives – as well as episodes of the great "Six Feet Under" and, given that this looked like it had a similar feel, I went in with high expectations…

…and they were met. García is able to successfully mesh two of my favourite movie structures – an unhurried pace, and intersecting multiple storylines (revolving around three women and their complicated connection with motherhood) that slowly reveal their interconnectedness. It’s one of those movies that you can just relax in and let it all wash over you, and at some stage of the process you realise that you’re caught in its beautiful spell (which for me is what I love about cinema the most – the occasional film that just magically hypnotises you). The performances I mentioned earlier are as strong as I hoped.

García feels like a director that is going to make a major breakthrough soon, when he makes a movie that is more widely seen. I do urge you to see this, as long as you are prepared to surrender yourself to this moving work of art.

Travis Cragg