Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

"The Kids Are Alright" / "The Way Of It"

Lisa Cholodenko seems to have carved out a successful career making high-profile indie films about dysfunctional lesbians – the latest, “The Kids Are Alright” is her most satisfying to date. Starring the ingenious pairing of Annette Bening and Julianne Moore it focuses on the disruption which ensues when the couple's teenage children, Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Josh Hutcherson), make contact with their charming, laidback sperm-father (Mark Ruffalo). Of course, had this been a Hollywood comedy, the father would have been a buttoned-up conservative played by Steve Carell, and there’d have been a sub-plot about Russian gangsters. Instead, this is a warm, sweetly funny tale about the messiness of family life, filled with excellent performances – especially from Bening in the unsympathetic, alpha female role, her subtly expressive face at the centre of the most striking moments. Highly recommended.

My R.S. Thomas show as part of the Dylan Thomas Festival in Swansea can, I think, be counted an artistic success, even if the audience was somewhat select. 36 poems, edited into a vaguely biographical sequence, it flowed pretty well, with Michael Kelligan effectively underplaying the suppressed emotion; as always, fresh resonances emerged on hearing rather than simply reading the verse. One hopes it’s an experience that will be repeated.

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