the kids are all right

Julianne Moore and Annette Benning are pitch perfect as middle-aged couple Jules and Nic dealing with the stresses of long-term relationships, raising kids, careers, and daily life. All of this is thrown into sharp focus when their teenaged children meet birth father, earthy, boyish restaurateur, Paul, played by Mark Ruffalo who is so natural one suspects this might not be an acting stretch for him. To Paul, meeting offspring he didn’t know he had, from fund-raising sperm donations in his early 20′s becomes an opportunity to have an instant family. To Nic it’s a threat. To Jules it’s a way to wiggle out of Nic’s controlling tendencies. Tension and strong performances combine to make this an extremely watchable film. [us, 2010]

safe

Julianne Moore plays a listless housewife who has it all. Problem is she’s allergic to it all…the sleek furniture, the manicured garden, the jammed freeway, and the dead relationship. Her pursuit for a cure to chemical overload acts as a terrifying symbol for the emotional distress, anxiety, anger, and spiritual vacancy of urban life. Moore plays her soul-deadened housewife with sensitivity and restraint, which makes her journey into the heart of mental toxic darkness all the more eerie. [us, 1995]

safe

Julianne Moore plays a listless housewife who has it all. Problem is she’s allergic to it all…the sleek furniture, the manicured garden, the jammed freeway, and the dead relationship. Her pursuit for a cure to chemical overload acts as a terrifying symbol for the emotional distress, anxiety, anger, and spiritual vacancy of urban life. Moore plays her soul-deadened housewife with sensitivity and restraint, which makes her journey into the heart of mental toxic darkness all the more eerie. [us, 1995]

far from heaven

Julianne Moore has made a successful career of playing seemingly simple women who’s hearts are slowly revealed through careful words and gestures. In this meticulously crafted period piece, Moore teams with safe director Todd Haynes for a stellar performance as Cathy Witaker, quintessential ’50s housewife. Cathy’s technicolor perfect world starts to crack at the seams when her husband admits a homosexual problem, not in those words of course. Shaken and alone, Cathy confides in and forms a friendship with the black gardener, touching off a greater scandal than her husband’s indiscretion. The beauty of this film and it’s star is the delicacy with which it tackles what could have been maudlin. [us, 2002]