Review this movie
Sep 10, 201010This is a movie with strong women front and center and much softer men definitely on the perimeter. Benning is incredible, and with her acting in "The kids are all right" she ought to at least get the best female actor of the season award. She plays a brittle, socially prickly spinster living with her frail ailing mother. We learn early that she gave up her child at 14, and we are to presume that this has brought her to cope by keeping people at a distance, which she does with great success through the personality of a haughty, reactive, woman with her own arcane sense of social propriety.
The child she gave up is played by Naomi Watts, who is also a bitter loner who has her mother's genes and the story to match. Naomi's character is far more powerful than Bennings. While Benning is a shrill, cold, arrogant woman who's defensiveness is expressed in attack, Naomi is a control Goddess, who uses her intellectual and sexual power to move men around like pieces on a check board. She seduces her boss (Samuel Jackson in a mellower role) after taking umbrage at his inviting her to dinner alone. The message is clear: "I make the moves here." Then without much of a break she seduces the next door married neighbor. Because she can? Partly, but I suspect mostly to strike back at his wife's pregnancy.
The third mother in this story is played by Kerry Washington a married woman determined to adopt the child she cannot conceive. The woman whose child she wishes to adopt (played with fierce intensity by Shareeka Epps) is another strong woman. She's not simply giving up a child she's going to arrange it's future environment as much as she can. She doesnâ… Expand