Plenty of movies strive for topicality, but occasionally something like The Kids Are All Right
slaps you in the face with the world you're actually living in. Written and directed by the talented Lisa Cholodenko (High Art
, Laurel Canyon
), this singular comedy-drama centers on a lesbian couple in Los Angeles (Annette Bening, Julianne Moore) and their teenage son and daughter (Josh Hutcherson, Mia Wasikowska), each child conceived by a different mother but from a common sperm donor. After the teens track down their biological father, an easygoing restaurateur and organic farmer (Mark Ruffalo), he begins to insinuate himself into their life, and Cholodenko (herself the lesbian mother of a child conceived by artificial insemination) exposes the confused feelings of a family toward someone who's part of them yet a complete stranger.
See our full review:
Carlos, Enter the Void, Dogtooth, and more
Two of the year's best films, The Kids Are All Right and Dogtooth, address extremes of parenting.