Focus Features hosted a press soiree early Tuesday evening for The Kids Are All Right, more particularly for director-co-writer Lisa Cholodenko and costars Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. Moore’s costar (and likely Best Actress nominee) Annette Bening was in town but didn’t show for reasons that could be discussed…but let’s not. And Glenn Kenny and Armond White were there…schmoozing distance!
At last night’s Kids Are All Right party at Bottino (l. to r.): Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, director-cowriter Lisa Cholodenko.
Suffice that Bening is talking directly to SAG members on both coasts and bypassing, for the most part, press persons like myself. It’s basically about wanting to maintain family privacy, which everyone understands. Either way it’s a safe bet she’ll be nominated, and that older women (as well as the general over-50, uncomfortable-with-Black Swan, King’s Speech-favoring contingent) will be her primary base of support.
I spoke to Ruffalo about that March ’09 version of Julianne Moore‘s climactic speech-to-the-famiily that Scott Feinstein posted on 8.7.10. The significance was that this speech, an admission that the affair she and Ruffalo had was selfish and hurtful, cut his character, Paul, a little slack. “That’s how I see it,” Ruffalo said last night, meaning that he doesn’t see Paul as a predatory ogre but a somewhat immature guy who made a mistake and copped to it and…you know, move on and comme ci comme ca.
Paul “isn’t blameless,” Moore’s character said in the 3.09 script, but “he’s a good guy. [And] if I’m gonna be honest about it, the person who really pushed it was me.” In the rewritten version that was used in the film, of course, Moore doesn’t defend Paul (or say anything about him pro or con), and he’s more or less tossed out like used coffee grounds at the finale.
There’s the slight symbolism of the hat, I realize, with Mia Wasikowska heading off to college at the finale and significantly keeping a hat that Paul had given her. As Ruffalo said in an interview last summer, “That was a real subtle way for the filmmaker to say it’s changed, it isn’t the way it was. Maybe it’s become a more mature relationship, but this man is gonna be in at least Joanie’s life.”
I brought the same point up in a chat with Moore, but she seemed either unfamiliar with the earlier version of the speech or didn’t feel it worked as well as the final version…or something along those lines. We just kind of batted the ball around, touching on this and that. I didn’t say to her that when guys have affairs they’re basically being their usual dog selves, but that’s the way it is, for the most part. But when women have affairs, Moore said, they “tend to be looking to affect a change.” Agreed.
I told her I felt exceptionally pleased and fulfilled after seeing her and Bill Nighy in David Hare‘s The Vertical Hour on stage in early ’07.
You have to be careful when speaking to a famous face and voice at a party to really listen to what they’re saying and not retreat into an inner head-mantra in which you repeat to yourself, “Jesus, this is real…I’m talking to this actor/actress and it feels unreal on some level.” You have to stay on topic, as if you’re talking to an East Hampton cop who’s giving you a ticket for not having your lights turned all the way on.
When guys have affairs they’re basically being their usual dog selves, I feel. But when women have affairs, Moore said, they “tend to be looking to affect a change.” Agreed. I told her I felt exceptionally pleased and fulfilled after seeing her and Bill Nighy in David Hare‘s The Vertical Hour on stage in early ’07.
The party happened at Bottino (246 Tenth Avenue, b’twn 24th and 25th).