The marython torch has been passed. The latest relay runner in the Acadamy Award race for a gay best-picture winner is The Kids Are All Right.
Sure, it’s early in the season, but we’ve read the tea leaves (Kombucha only, of course) and our weekly calls to Miss Cleo (via her prison phone) assure us that this film has legs.
The kind of legs it has – MILF-y, lesbian legs – are the four main reasons why this might be the first big-gay film of the new millennium to snag that iconic golden man, Oscar. Men are more comfortable with lesbians than they are with gay men, after all.
With the comfort level accessible for wider audiences, the incomparable Julianne Moore and Annette Bening are allowed to fully explore their roles as a long-term couple with kids. They, the script and the director don’t shy away from affection or sex, seemingly pushing the envelope for an A-list-studded gay film. But it’s lesbians, so the risk of backfire or radio shock-jock jokes attacking it (ala Brokeback) are low.
Perhaps we’re a little startled from being introduced to creative lesbian sex via the film (who would’ve thought that’s how it’s done?), but once you’re over the fact that there still exists a double-standard in Hollywood and the rest of America when it comes to lesbians vs. gay men, The Kids Are All Right is stellar and necessary.
For one, it repaints the American picture of what it means to be a “family.” The children of Moore and Bening’s characters call their parents “moms” (and in the possessive, “moms’s”) and struggle with a term for their newly-surfaced sperm-donor biological-father (played lazily but poetically by Mark Ruffalo). Donor dad? Biological dad?
For two, it represents sexuality as fluid and biological. Perhaps with Julianne Moore depicting this message it’ll be easier for mid-America to digest, alongside processed-cheese nachos and gummy bears.
Perhaps most important of all, The Kids Are All Right shows that, well, the kids are alright. With recent studies finding that lesbian parents make “better” parents than their heterosexual counterparts, an unyielding film examining an ideal lesbian family in the midst of a crisis of sorts works as a thesis paper for the revelation.
If this is the mold for the 22nd Century version of a “family film,” we’ll all be alright. Well, after cutting out the scissoring (hardy, har). You know, for the kids.