Annette Bening Sings in The Kids Are All Right|
Nic has always been the responsible one, a doctor and the main breadwinner in her family, the mom who reminds the kids to write thank-you notes and worries about their choices in friends. It's a tough job but one she's always embraced, though lately it's become trickier, as her partner Jules seems to grow distant and Paul, the sperm donor who made it possible for both her kids to exist, seems to have magnetically drawn both of her children away from her. Making one last stab at getting along with Paul, Nic agrees to a family dinner at his place, and it's going great-- she's drinking less wine, admiring Jules's landscaping work on Paul's yard , and best of all bonding with Paul over his Joni Mitchell album collection.
Things are about to go wrong again, as she'll realize Jules has been having an affair with Paul in just a few minutes, but as Nic sings Joni Mitchell's "All I Want" at the dinner table, she's suddenly able to tap back into the younger, carefree person she once was, amazing both her family and the man who's both an interloper and the reason her family exists. All of us have versions of ourselves we want to become again, and for one short moment, Nic merges past and present to unite her family-- her entire family-- for the first time.
Revisit Anette Bening's zone out moment after she sings and everything starts going wrong, embedded below: