Sundance Film Festival follow up: THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

When director Lisa Cholodenko’s THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT debuted at the festival, it sparked audience enthusiasm so great it was matched only by one of Sundance’s most intense bidding wars ever. Eventually snapped up by Focus Features, KIDS went on to win Best Feature at Berlin International Film Festival’s Teddy Awards. It also topped LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE – another recent Sundance success story – in box office numbers, running a per screen average of just over $72,000, the best of 2010.

Cholodenko’s realistic depiction of an unconventional family dealing with conventional problems was a hit with audiences and critics alike (that sounds trite, but it’s true), making it one of the strongest Oscar contenders for all of the top five awards (Writer, Director, Actor, Actress, Film). Shot in only 24 days, Cholodenko captured solid performances from its three leading actors, Annette Bening, Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo, as well as what will be known from here on out as the Mia Wasikowska’s break out role as their daughter Joni, name, of course, after Joni Mitchell. The experience was especially fulfilling for Ruffalo, who was contemplating retiring from acting at the time to pursue directing, but after his six days of shooting (an amazing fact in and of itself when you consider how large a role he played) he decided to stick with the acting after all.

Some films generate a buzz but, after a few months are never heard from again. KIDS has been living up its initial Sundance hype for the last year and shows no sign of stopping. The DVD was just released and with the Oscars right around the corner, it is poised on securing a place for itself in not just recent history, but film history – period.

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.