The most talked-about movie at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and the winner of the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film at the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival, The Kids Are All Right is directed by Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon) from an original screenplay that she wrote with Stuart Blumberg (Keeping the Faith). The movie combines comedic surprise with poignant emotional truth in a funny, vibrant, and richly drawn portrait of a modern family.
Nic and Jules (three-time Academy Award nominee Annette Bening and four-time Academy Award nominee Julianne Moore) are married and share a cozy suburban Southern California home with their teenage children, Joni and Laser (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson). Nic and Jules – or, when referred to jointly by Joni, “Moms” – gave birth to and raised their children, and built a family life for the four of them. As Joni prepares to leave for college, 15-year-old Laser presses her for a big favour. He wants Joni, now 18, to help him find their biological father; the two teenagers were conceived by artificial insemination.
Against her better judgment, Joni honors her brother’s request and manages to make contact with “bio-dad” Paul (Mark Ruffalo), an easygoing restaurateur. The kids find themselves drawn to the confirmed bachelor’s footloose style – especially in contrast to Nic, a principled doctor who has long established their house rules. Jules, who has been looking to start a new career in landscaping, also strikes up a rapport with Paul. As Paul comes into the lives of the forthright four, an unexpected new chapter begins for them as family ties are defined, re-defined, and then re-re-defined.