We've come to that time of the year when I track down and watch as many major Oscar nominees as I can before the ceremony. This year, I'm woefully deficient in what the Academy deems to be award-worthy movies. Of the best picture contenders, I'd seen two: Inception and Toy Story 3.
Last night, I added a third: The Kids Are All Right. This is an excellent film. Well-written, well-acted. But it's not going to win best picture because it's too small scale. (The Academy in recent years has tended more toward the epic.) The story focuses on one unconventional (and dysfunctional) family during the summer before the eldest child goes to college. That young woman contacts the sperm donor for her two lesbian moms, the sperm donor works his way into the lives of the family members and conflict ensues.
I'd say Annette Bening could upset front-runner Natalie Portman for best actress. Her performance is phenomenal. The movie is also nominated for best supporting actor for Mark Ruffalo and original screenplay, but it'll probably lose to The King's Speech in both those categories. (Although don't discount Inception in the screenplay category or Christian Bale for supporting actor.)
Next up: Going to see The King's Speech next weekend.