Family Viewing (1987)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Family Viewing Photos
as Aline's mother
as Van's Mother
as Young Van
as Man Behind Counter
as Private Detective
as Hotel Bellboy
as Video Salesman
as Mistaken Woman
as Priest at Funeral
as Aline's Client
as Television Voice-Over
Critic Reviews for Family Viewing
Audience Reviews for Family Viewing
[font=Century Gothic]In "Family Viewing" Van(Aidan Tierney) and Aline(Arsinee Khanjian) meet at a retirement home while visiting their respective loved ones. Aline works as a phone sex operator which cannot support her mother's care while Van is the only member of his family to visit his grandmother, his mother having no contact with the rest of the family. Van's father, Stan(David Hemblen), has since remarried a younger woman, Sandra(Gabrielle Rose).(Stan works in electronics and has a tendency to videotape everything.) Aline receives a lucrative offer to meet a client in Montreal for a week and asks Van to look after her mother while she is gone...[/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Family Viewing" is not as good as the other early Atom Egoyan movies I have been watching recently but it still has its share of worthwhile moments. This movie is also about family and disconnectedness, but there is less of a story than usual. And the videotaping of sex is not that weird, as long as everybody agrees to it and they are all having fun.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic](And on that note, I am on vacation and will return to these pages on Tuesday, September 26.)[/font]
A bewildering mess of a movie that looks at a twisted family dynamic that is more about power than nurture. The film spent all of its time moving the narrative, such as it was, forward, and left the viewer trying to piece together the few small clues to the back story of these characters and how they wound up in these various configurations. The synopsis does a better job of helping one to understand the basic framework than the film itself does. In order to understand why these characters behave as they do, one is forced to invent motivations that are not evident. At times, and this might be due to the film's vintage, the sets and the stance of the characters, even the camera angles, reminded this viewer of soap opera television. A lot of the scenes were of video footage, or of the characters watching video footage. The acting was lackluster, the script rather stilted and the story hard to make sense of. Yet through it all, one begins to pull for the young man in his quest to personally care for his grandmother, against the wishes and the machinations of his father. Although the title indicates otherwise, this is not one for family viewing. Not a lot of skin, but some disturbing images and adult themes run throughout.
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