The premise is rather simple. A gay couple of women Nic (Annette Bening) and Jules (Julianne Moore) have two kids Joni (Mia Wasikowska) and Laser (Jos Hutcherson) who is particularly interested in meeting their biological father. When Joni arranges a meeting, they immediately bond. Slowly, sperm donor Paul (Mark Ruffalo) begins to be invited into the family which cause discomfort with Nic. This is only made worse when Jules starts as Paul's garden designer and begins to spend a lot of time with him. Feeling like she is being pushed out in preference of a father figure in the family, confrontations come to light.
Annette was tired of pretending to love Julianne. She just wanted to finish her wine.
Unfortunately, it's difficult to delve to much into the movie without giving away a lot of spoilers. I mean, there isn't that much to give away, but if you're like me, you like to not know any details about what happens in the film. So I shall restrain myself. The film is good. Not as good as other Oscar nominees but better than, I don't know, anything made by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. But seriously, it's not the best film to be nominated but still enjoyable. It may sound like I criticise the movie a lot in the paragraph to come, but I promise, it isn't bad. I'll start with the best things. The performances. Two of which are nominated. Bening is up for Best Actress. Does she deserve the gong? In my opinion, no. While she is better than a lot of performances out there, I think the only reason she may get it is due to her numerous nominations in the past with no big wins. She does portray all the emotions that Nic is likely to feel but it all seems a bit mild. In contrast, other nominees like Portman, almost drove themselves to mental and physical torture to do the best damn performance they could. Ruffalo, however, is up for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar and is great. Also a mild performance but so is his character. The calm and collected character who seems to have found what he needs in life. A family. Against such strong competition, I doubt he stands much chance at winning, but he's very good all the same.
All other performances were also excellent. I think it's very unfortunate that Julianne Moore wasn't nominated but already the actress categories have such strong competition. However, I felt she did a better performance than Bening. Both young performers did really well. Wasikowska as the more sensitive and independent daughter and Hutcherson as the 'cool' kid. Wasikowska certainly showed that she has great potential and Hutcherson is showing promise, but still has a way to go.
'The Sofa Musical's' finale number didn't go down too well.
My biggest issue with this film is it all seemed very rushed. It builds up slowly and then all the exciting and tense moments just seem to pass. The ending in particular left me very frustrated. I'm not sure whether it's the screenplay's fault or the directing or whether they just cut a lot out in order to decrease it's running time. I don't know. All I know is, it was very unsatisfying. Perhaps it was just love overcoming all obstacles and all the jazz.... Apart from that, everything else was very average. There was nothing special in the sound, editing or cinematography departments. Generic would be a good word to use.
Like I said, it seems like I'm slating the film but it's one of those times when the few negatives stand out over the many positives. Also, there is a lot of sex scenes. I think there's too many. But still, it's a good film and I recommend it. If you can't tell from the star rating.
Best bit? The dramatic confrontation between Paul and Nic. Best part of Bening's performance and shows that Oscar winning potential.