Nic and Jules are a lesbian couple. They have two children, Joni and Laser, who have been conceived through the same sperm donor. The family has their quirks, but they're a relatively happy one. Laser, however, is missing something in his life and asks Joni, who has just turned 18, to contact their biological father. That's when Paul enters: a restaurant owner with a minor peter pan complex. He meets the kids and quickly starts bonding with them. He starts to take part in the family's everyday life and soon it becomes clear that new relationships can cause severe damage to the older ones.
The thing I love about this movie is the combination of drama and comedy. Things get pretty heavy and emotional, but it's done in such a light and charming way that you barely feel the weight of it. The characters are very realistic and interesting to follow. Especially the chemistry between Annette Bening and Julianne Moore is outstanding. Looking back, the title "The kids are all right" isn't really appropriate as I was far more intrigued by the issues of the married couple. Mia Wasikowska (that's a mouthful!) did impress me with her subtle but determined performance. I loathed her in "Alice in Wonderland", so that came as a surprise to me.
The message I got in the end is that every marriage and family, no matter how different on the outside, has problems. And that with the right amount of reconciling, understanding and love, ripples can be patched.
The movie has received four Oscar nods: Best actress (Annette Bening), Best supporting actor (Mark Ruffalo), Best original Screenplay and Best picture.
I must say I was surprised with Ruffalo's nomination. I think he portrayed Paul's persona fine, but not amazing. The othe nominations are well deserved. Though they most likely won't win, a nomination still counts for something.