Interview: Lisa Cholodenko of The Kids Are All Right

Lisa Cholodenko headshot

Lisa Cholodenko

Comedy drama movie The Kids Are All Right opened in theaters in July 2010 to good reviews, bringing in a nice $20.8 million in limited release. On Nov. 16, 2010, the film, directed and co-written by Lisa Cholodenko, got its widest audience on DVD and Blu-ray. (Read our review.)

The movie is about a lesbian couple (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) raising two children (Josh Hutcherson and Mia Wasikowska) they had by artificial insemination. Now teenagers, the children make contact with the sperm donor who is their biological father (Mark Ruffalo), and his presence in their life changes the family.

Cholodenko, who earlier directed acclaimed films High Art and Laurel Canyon, conceived the movie’s story when her and her partner were considering have a child through artifical insemination. She spoke to Disc Dish about bringing her idea to the screen.

Disc Dish: Congratulations on this movie.

Lisa Cholodenko: Oh, thanks!

DD: From the featurettes and the commentary on the disc, it seems like this is a personal film for you.

LC: It was. Yeah. Working with Stuart, my long-time friend from New York. It was definitely personal.

The Kids Are All Right DVD boxDD: This was the first time you had worked with co-writer Stuart Blumberg, but was it the first time you worked with a writing partner?

LC: It is, yeah, the first time on an original script.

DD: How was that? Especially as this was your idea from the beginning, was it difficult to bring on someone else’s view point?

LC: You know, we had some ideas for the film that weren’t mutual, but at the same time we were open to the process. We both had the same instinct about the material and the same emotional investment, and that was very important.

DD: This movie was five years in the making for you, right?

LC: Yeah.

DD: You said in the commentary that when you met Stuart, you were kind of stumped with the story.

LC: Yeah, I was like 25 pages in, and I was at this point where I was thinking, ‘Well, here’s the premise, what path are the characters going to take?’ And when you write alone, after a while, you get into a sort of inner dialog with yourself. It’s just part of the process, all the endless debates about the work.

DD: Did you do a lot of research?

LC: I did a lot of research at the library, and there was a lot of material I culled from journalism programs and articles. So I learned enough that I could feel comfortable writing it.

About S. Clark

Sam Clark is the former Managing Editor/Online Editor of Video Business magazine. With 19 years experience in journalism, 12 in the home entertainment industry, Sam has been hooked on movies on since she saw E.T. then stared into the sky waiting to meet her own friendly alien. Thanks to her husband’s shared love of movies, Sam reviews Blu-ray discs in a true home theater, with a 118-inch screen, projector and cushy recliners with cup holders.