Beautifully acted and exquisitely written, co-writer/director Lisa Cholodenko’s poignant, funny, truthful 2010 comedy drama hits to the bone.
Annette Bening and Julianne Moore play physician Nic and landscape designer Jules, a couple who share a complicated but loving long-term lesbian relationship. Their kids – sulky Laser (Josh Hutcherson, smart Joni (Mia Wasikowska) – each conceived by one of the women by artificial insemination, go to seek out their shared birth father, the sperm donor Paul (Mark Ruffalo), and unfortunately bring him into the family’s life.
Soon, Paul is trying to pal up with the kids and employing gardener Jules (Moore) to landscape his garden, leading to near-devastating emotional and sexual complications. Are the kids going to be all right? Come to that, are the adults going to be OK either?
Four Oscar nominations, including Best Film, Screenplay, Actress (Bening) and Actor (Ruffalo) are its guarantee of quality. Playing a controlly doctor, Bening provides the film’s classiest act. But she shares marvellous chemistry with the almost equally fine Moore, playing the unfocused underachiever of the pair.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 3967
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