Editor | Peter Bowen
Josh Hutcherson gets Noticed in The Kids Are All Right
Posted July 29, 2010
The success of The Kids are All Right is putting a spotlight on all the talented people who made it work, including Josh Hutcherson, the 18-year-old actor who plays Laser. To many observers, this is the breakthrough role for the child actor (turned teenager). Lauren Bishop at Cinncinati.com spoke with the young actor, whom she dubbed “Mr. Sought-After Young Hollywood Actor, about his role and his success. He acknowledged that Kids might be a new step for him: I’m doing a sequel to Journey to the Center of the Earth later this year and that’s more a family-oriented film. I think I’m just sort of jumping all over the place. I think this is sort of a transition into more adult, grown-up roles."
Entertainment Weekly Pop Watch: Mark Ruffalo on the Hulk and The Kids Are All Right
Posted July 29, 2010
Jeff Jensen on Entertainment Weekly’s Pop Watch blog spoke with Mark Ruffalo about his recent ascension to being the new hulk and his recent approbation for his role in The Kids Are All Right. In addition to remarking about the fan-boy frenzy his recent appearance at Comic-Con created, Ruffalo talked about the frenzy around The Kids Are All Right.
What do you think audiences are responding to in the film?
I think what they’re responding to is seeing themselves in it. It’s above all else a really, really funny, frank and honest portrait of a family that’s dealing with teens in the home. Anyone who sees it who’s been in a long relationship, as far as the adults who see it, I don’t think they can help but see themselves in it. I think it’s really honest about marriage, and how difficult it is, and how hard you have to work in it and what it costs and what, ultimately, the beauty of it is.
PBS Art Beat talks with The Kids Are All Right’s Lisa Cholodenko
Posted July 28, 2010
New York Observer takes a close look at Annette Bening
Posted July 28, 2010
As Roland Barthes once did with Greta Garbo’s face, Lee Siegel over at The New York Observer does with Annette Bening as he registers the cultural and social meaning of her visage. In “Oh, Oh, Annette! Why I Get a Bang Out of Bening,” Siegel narrows his focus to her face: "Seeing Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right—seeing her face register a spectrum of feeling as if it were the evening news—I was more than ever convinced that she is one of the greatest ever American film actors. And it's all in that magnificent face, which is arguably the face of our moment.”
Moving from film to film, Siegel traces out a history of an actress who physically expresses questions central to our culture’s identity. From Bugsy to Mrs. Harris to Mother and Child to The Kids are All Right, Bening, according to Siegel, continually mirrors back to us our own sense of ambiguity and yearning. He defines her singular look as that of “unforgettable indistinctness,” a face that is always somewhere between states: “the nose is too strong to be demure, and too delicate to be large; the chin stops just short of being either rounded or dramatic…” All of these comes together perfectly in her portrayal of Nic in The Kids Are All Right:
Crazy, mobile, ever-shifting American truth now resides in Ms. Bening's 52-year-old face. Her age is significant, just as the fact that she seems not to have done any cover-up work on her face is significant. The Kids Are All Right is like a defiant gesture to an industry that discards actresses at the age of 40, as well as to a culture that has every woman, young and old, walking around tormented and stuck inside the burqa of a commercialized ideal of feminine beauty. To top it all off, Ms. Bening's postmodern simultaneity reaches the pitch of perfection in this film: She is the masculine-feminine harmony that, in Aristophanes' old parable, got tragically split into the two sexes. Yet her character is essentially, timelessly conservative. She is a lesbian Father Knows Best.
The Kids Are All Right’s Lisa Cholodenko in Out
Posted July 27, 2010
Out Magazine hosts a short profile of Lisa Cholodenko, the director/co-writer of The Kids Are All Right on their website: Barry Walters’ “Lisa Cholodenko: Hope Springs Maternal.” Walters speaks to the filmmaker about herself being a mother and the limitation of earlier lesbian/gay film, as well as where she gets her cinematic sense of humor:
Stuart [Blumberg, the film’s cowriter] and I love those films by Hal Ashby and Billy Wilder that had real humanity and truth to them,” Cholodenko says of inspirations like Harold and Maude and The Apartment. “They could illuminate something about the human experience but were absurd and accentuated, and so they left you in this unstable place where you’re kept engaged.”
Los Angles Times: The Kids Are All Right’s LA style
Posted July 26, 2010
In a recent post on L.A. at Home, the design blog for The Los Angeles Times, David A. Keeps did an in-depth profile with “Set Pieces: The L.A. look in The Kids Are All Right.” Actually as Keeps points out the film doesn’t offer one look, but “contrasting design styles of two sides of Los Angeles.” In the piece, production designer Julia Berghoff defines how in designing both the home of Nic (Bening) and Jules (Moore) and Paul’s (Mark Ruffalo) Echo Park pad, she was defining two different LA lifestyles. The lesbian moms and their kids live in a comfortable bungalow “decorated with pages-from-a-catalog furniture and just a touch of earth-loving bohemianism.” Paul, however, lives in hip mish-mash. As Berghoff says, “It's like he did a lot of shopping at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, which is exactly what we did.”
The Kids are All Right on the Right Track
Posted July 26, 2010
Over at SpeakEasy, the Wall Street Journal film biz blog, Anthony Kaufmann looked at the continued success of Lisa Cholodenko’s family comedy The Kids Are All Right in a post entitled “How The Kids Are All Right is Winning Over Summer Moviegoers.” As Kaufman points out, Kids is “is quickly becoming the indie hit of the summer,” winning over audiences slowly through a platform release and amazing word of mouth. Proof of this can be seen in the weekend rise of business. As Kaufman points out, “sales over the weekend increased significantly from Friday to Saturday by a sizeable 57%. (As comparison, the new Angelina Jolie action vehicle Salt increased just 6%.)” And while some of had try to make the film’s lesbian family into a controversy, nobody seems to notice. As Focus CEO James Schamus put it, “What’s controversial about a family struggling with kids going to college?”
The New York Times Stirs up Discussion on The Kids Are All Right
Posted July 22, 2010
The New York Times’ special section “Room For Debate” invites people in the know to discuss issues raised by current events. The recent question up for discussion is “What role does a movie like The Kids Are All Right play in changing social attitudes?” The panel chosen to respond include The Daily Beast columnists Kate Aurthur, The Stranger’s editorial director Dan Savage (and a gay dad himself), Stephanie Coontz, who teaches family history at the Evergreen State College and recently wrote Marriage, A History, and finally Lynn Spigel, a professor at Northwestern University School of Communication and the author of Make Room for TV: Television and the Family Ideal in Postwar America.
Each participant looks at this question from a very different point of view. Two of the writers––Lynn Spigel and Kate Aurthur––give fascinating context to the history of LGBT representation, especially on television. Dan Savage, whose own experiences as a gay dad have been chronicled in his books The Kid and The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage and My Family, champions the film’s honesty and courage: “Lisa Cholodenko’s film lived up to the hype. “The Kids Are All Right is tremendously moving, the first film about a family headed by a same-sex couple that treats our existence as a fact and us as human beings.” But as a person who has lived the drama enacted in the film, Savage goes on to talk about the complicated relation gay parents negotiate with the biological force (be in surrogate, sperm donor, or such) that helps them start that family.
Coontz provides a historical look at the demographics of gay families and how they match up (or not) with popular representations. For Coontz, The Kids Are All Right is both the exception (it focus on a lesbian couple rather than single gay men) and the rule:
The Kids Are All Right stands out not in its acceptance of same-sex marriage but in its focus on a same-sex family with many of the same relationship and generational tensions we find in heterosexual couples. All but die-hard opponents of gay rights can relate to that. And in fact, portraying same-sex couples with children may be the best strategy for same-sex advocates in the United States.
LA Magazine’s Beach Playlist with The Kids Are All Right
Posted July 21, 2010
The recent Los Angeles Magazine features "A Day at the Beach" with a special web exclusive in which Liza Richardson (the music supervisor for The Kids Are All Right) puts together a special play list for your seaside adventure. First up, “Slippin’” from the Danish band Quadron. Richardson says of that song, “We used this song in The Kids Are All Right. It’s a feel-good summer song about getting lost in the moment.” You can learn more about Ms. Richardson in Scott Macaulay’s interview with her on the site.
The American’s George Clooney receives Humanitarian Emmy
Posted July 21, 2010
George Clooney, who’ll be appearing Anton Corbijn’s killer thriller The American (due out from Focus on September 1), has been chosen to receive the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award at this year’s Emmy Awards (which will air on August 29, a few days before The American opens). John Shaffner, Chairman and CEO, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences commends their choice by stating, George “has understood and harnessed the power of television, the most powerful medium of our time, to reach into the hearts of people around the world and compelled us to action on behalf of those in sudden and desperate need,” The Academy site goes further to name just a few of his television appeals:
Whether it is his advocacy to stop genocide in Darfur, his subsequent founding of Not On Our Watch with Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Don Cheadle and Jerry Weintraub to focus global attention and resources on preventing mass atrocities, or quickly mobilizing the entertainment industry for the America: A Tribute to Heroes in the wake of 9/11, Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope in 2005, A Shelter From the Storm: A Concert for the Gulf Coast following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and most recently, the Hope For Haiti Now telethon, Clooney’s personal dedication to humanitarian concerns makes him the ideal choice for this recognition.