Tag Archive: annette bening

Dir. Rodrigo García
(2010, R, 127 min)
★ ★ ½

Mother and Child is a film about adoption that never lets us forget it’s about adoption. It’s the subject of scenes even when it doesn’t make sense for it to be, as when the owner of a high-powered law firm asks his new associate why she never searched for her birth mother, or when, at a family picnic, another character’s step-daughter asks out of nowhere why she’s never searched for the daughter she gave up. We’re not watching characters who have experienced adoption. We’re watching characters written entirely around adoption.

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Annette Bening and Julianne Moore, in 'The Kids Are All Right'

Dir. Lisa Cholodenko
(2010, R, 104 min)
★ ★ ★

If Nicole Holofcener had helmed The Kids Are All Right, it might have been a great film. Holofcener, as she showed most recently in her New York-set comedy Please Give, specializes in tricky interpersonal relationships between women and adds subtle layers of subtext to her stories and characters. By contrast, co-writer and director Lisa Cholodenko stays mostly on the surface of her subject, making Kids at first a sitcom, like a truncated version of Modern Family, and then a melodrama of betrayals and heartbreak. It’s a good sitcom and a good melodrama, bolstered by terrific performances and a few scenes of genuine reflection, but sometimes it feels like a missed opportunity.

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