‘Kids Are All Right’ director Lisa Cholodenko: Not all lesbian love scenes are created equal


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When ‘The Kids Are All Right’ was released this summer, there was little fanfare about a lesbian sex scene between the film’s stars, Julianne Moore and Annette Bening.

But in advance of the December premiere of the dark ballet thriller ‘Black Swan,’ there’s been a lot of attention focused on a racy same-sex scene between the movie’s leads, Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis.


So why is the scene in ‘Black Swan’ a bigger deal?

Filmgoers will have their own hypotheses, but Lisa Cholodenko, who directed ‘Kids,’ has her ideas.

Cholodenko has yet to see Darren Aronofsky’s latest movie. When questioned about the difference between the sex scenes in both films, she asked reporters at an awards luncheon for ‘Kids’ on Wednesday to describe the ‘Black Swan’ scene. Upon hearing the description, she said it seemed the film could have done without the Kunis-Portman scene. ‘It sounds like the kind of subplot that could have not been in the movie,’ she said.

On the other hand, she continued, ‘Ours was done with humor. It wasn’t languid sexuality. And in the tradition of lovemaking scenes, it’s harder to sell ours -- the more awkward, interrupted sex scenes.’

That’s not to say Cholodenko hasn’t taken heat for the way she treated sexuality in the movie. Many in the ‘lesbian right wing,’ she said, took issue with the fact that Moore’s character cheats on her female partner and decides to sleep with a man, played by Mark Ruffalo.

‘They say, ‘Why did she have to stray with a man?’’ the director said. ‘And that just feels very narrow to me. Sexuality is fluid. Not everyone lives on the lesbian reservation.’

-- Amy Kaufman



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