Moore, Bening lesbian comedy takes Berlin gay prize

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The Independent Culture

A US comedy starring Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as a lesbian couple whose kids seek out their sperm donor won the Teddy prize for best gay movie at the Berlin Film Festival, organisers said Saturday.

Awarded ahead of the festival's Golden Bear prize for best picture Saturday night, the Teddy Bear went to "The Kids Are All Right", chosen by a jury of eight organisers of gay and lesbian film events around the world.

"The Teddy for the Best Feature Film goes to Lisa Cholodenko's 'The Kids Are All Right' for being a well-crafted and humorous take on the issues facing contemporary lesbian parents and the complexity of sexuality, relationships and family bonding," the jury said in a statement.

In one of the biggest crowd-pleasers of the festival, Cholodenko's picture sees Moore and Bening as a happy couple of two decades whose relationship begins to falter when their teenagers' biological father enters the picture.

The film shows the sperm donor Paul, played by Mark Ruffalo ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"), as a ladies' man who finds himself drawn in by the loving family of two women and two adolescents.

Moore, 49, told reporters after the Berlinale screening that she found the film refreshing for taking a lesbian-led household for granted and offering an honest look, with a light touch, at the dynamics of a long-term relationship.

"For me the movie is very much a portrait of a marriage and a family and about what it's like to be married for a long time and have children," she told reporters.

"I don't think it matters what your sexuality is. I think all families are the same that way."

Cholodenko, 45, who has worked on television series including "Six Feet Under" and "The L Word" and made the feature films "Laurel Canyon" and "High Art", said that she hoped the door was opening to more films about unconventional families.

"It's difficult but hopefully the atmosphere will change," she said.

"The Kids Are All Right" was not in competition for the Golden Bear, which will be awarded later Saturday at a gala ceremony.