In the Family - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

In the Family Reviews

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July 1, 2014
Maybe one of the most poignant movies I have seen. Definitely worth the long length. Patrick Wang is well worth watching in the future as both a director and as an actor.
June 22, 2014
Needs editing but really good story line. Remember folks to keep your wills updated!
April 17, 2014
The film was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature in 2012.[11]

Sebastian Banes won the Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Young Actor Age Ten and Under.[12]

The film also received "Best Feature" awards at the San Diego Asian Film Festival, the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival and the Spokane International Film Festival, with Wang receiving "Best Emerging Filmmaker" awards at all three festivals as well.
Super Reviewer
April 6, 2014
The potential for over-the-top, weepy melodrama with this kind of material is obvious, but Patrick Wang opts for quiet realism. While the film sidesteps nearly all of the "movie-of the week" cliches, the glacial pace could be difficult for some people to endure (nearly three hours worth of this story probably isn't necessary), fortunately Wang makes the important moments count, so if you are patient "In the Family" is quite rewarding. Another thing that helps distinguish this film is its subtle demonstration of "Bourgeois Homophobia" (The kind of passive aggressive discrimination that's becoming more common in America than the violent hatred of old) and how perhaps the best response to it isn't righteous anger or protest . . . but rather impassioned, mature discussion and forgiveness.
March 30, 2014
Although slow at times and although I thought the part stretched Mr. Wang's abilities as an actor, the movie as a whole is great and I didn't notice until the end that I was so engrossed in the plot that 3 hours had gone by. What could have turned into a cheesy overdramatic production was done with amazingly understated taste. If there ever was a reason why gay marriage should be legal, this movie gives a backstage view at what gay couples who share a home have to face when their union is not recognized by the law. Some people choose to scream, this movie chose to calmly and logically argue in favour of gay rights simply by showing the love of a gay couple and their love for their son
November 6, 2013
An acutely felt, altogether devastating family drama as intimate and affecting as it is sprawling and untamed.
July 15, 2013
Excellent film. Acting, writing and direction were superb. In that order. The special affects could have been better as could the catering, but overall the best homosexual adoption tragedy courtroom/side room love story that I've ever seen this side of Finding Nemo.
July 12, 2013
is easily, unquestionably the best film I have seen all year. Nothing else even comes close (with the possible exception of , but it's still a distant second to ).

is the story of Joey, Cody, and Chip, a family living in small-town Tennessee. Joey and Cody of have been together 5 years and are raising their son, 6-year-old Chip, together. Joey is Dad; Cody is Pa. Cody is Chip's biological father with Chip's mother having died when he was a baby.

Tragedy strikes when Cody is killed in an auto accident. As Cody and Joey had never married (not that it would have mattered in Tennessee) and as Cody had never updated his will, Cody's death leaves Joey with no parental rights to Chip despite having raised him from the time Chip was an infant. Cody's sister Eileen, herself deeply upset at her brother's death, who previously had gotten along well with Joey, takes custody of Chip and gets a restraining order to prevent Joey from seeing Chip or coming to her home. Joey is, of course, devastated.

Now, don't get the wrong idea: this is not a preachy movie about discrimination against gay families. It's not a legal drama where Joey finds a crusading attorney who makes whose courtroom theatrics win the day for the downtrodden gay man. This is simply a movie about a man who has lost his son and just wants him back. This is a family movie about a father's love for his son and about the horrible injustice, the great wickedness, of trying to sever the bonds of parental love.

Joey, played brilliantly and movingly by Patrick Wang, is a soft-spoken contractor, not the typical Hollywood gay stereotype. Joey is a native southerner with a distinct southern drawl, which initially strikes the audience as an odd juxtaposition with his Asian heritage. Joey is a quiet, brooding man. He's confused and not sure what to do to get Chip back. Yet as angry as he is at losing Chip, Joey's sadness overwhelms his anger: Joey is still suffering the loss of Cody, and so grief is heaped upon grief when Chip is taken from him. Wang's performance is so honest, so true-to-life, so gut-wrenchingly real that Wang is not just an actor playing Joey; Wang is Joey. Wang's performance is absolutely brilliant. You will fall in love with Joey as you watch this movie, and you will weep with Joey, feel his pain, and pray the gods that he is delivered.

Joey's friends are outraged on his behalf, but all the lawyers whose aid he seeks bluntly tell Joey that his cause is a lost cause. Finally, a retired attorney, on whose house Joey is doing some work, offers to help Joey. To avoid spoiling the film, I won't reveal what the retired attorney does or even the outcome of the course he recommends that Joey follow. So you must see this film to find out how this drama unfolds.

Now, this is a rather long film (2 hours, 49 minutes), which I usually dislike, but there is nary a minute wasted. The film slowly but entrancingly builds in intensity and suspense, and the denouement-the last 30 to 40 minutes-is stunning, absolutely amazing. The climactic scenes in those final 30 to 40 minutes move this film from greatness to magnificence. I'm saddened that my words are so impotent in expressing just how incredibly beautiful and wonderful this film is.

is more than film. It is art, truly great art: this is van Gogh and Michelangelo and Mozart and Shakespeare. It is life. It is humanity. It is love. Yes, most of all, it is love. You will not be able to stop weeping at the beauty and the grandeur of . See this film!!

is an indie film that was first released in 2011; because it is from a first-time director and is an independent film, the film was not widely distributed and garnered practically no publicity when it was first released, but it received great reviews (among them from the late Roger Ebert and from the ) and won several awards at various film festivals. It has a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It is nearly universally acclaimed by the critics and for good reason. This is just a fantastic film. See this movie as soon as humanly possible.

Bravo, Mr. Wang! Bravo! Bravo! Bravissimo!
½ July 12, 2013
The second three-hour indie I've seen this week from yet another filmmaker with ambition and talent that stretch from here to the moon.

Ooh, boy.

The "here" is the present-day American South. The moon in this case is getting baby boomer morals to wise up to the twentieth century when gay man Cody dies in a car accident, leaving his lover, Joey (Patrick Wang), to fend off Cody's sister and his outdated will in maintaining custody of the child he and Joey have shared together for six years.

There aren't a lot of surprises in "In the Family", so then why are you glued to the screen for all its 169 minutes? That's writer-director Wang, careful to populate "Family" with, well, just that feeling: love and family and friendship and sacrifice. In its shear number of long, beautiful takes you get the sense of an epic zooming closer and pushing tighter into race relations and fatherhood, no matter how unbroken the camera remains. You also get the sense that, like Xavier Dolan's "Laurence Anyways", Wang is being deliberate in his film's own aesthetic craftiness -- he'll do anything to make an impression. And yet "In the Family" manages to stay gorgeously out of its own way. Call it "Kramer vs. Kramer" given the "4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days" treatment, but when the results are this profound, anxious and intimate I'm fine with being punctiliously seared. Because to quote another near-perfect film from the last two years, you can force your story's shape but the color will always bloom upstream.
½ January 6, 2013
Good premise. Much too long for me.
November 19, 2012
Got up this orning thinking about the movie we saw last night....Fine movie...sensitive...too long, I think
October 30, 2012
Plan to catch this at the Rehoboth Beach Film Festival next week.
October 23, 2012
hahahahahaha yas afekooors
October 7, 2012
Seeing each other - beautiful film that simply inspires is to be who we really are. If that sounds too vague and cryptic, just go see the film.
September 9, 2012
It was terrific. Got to meet the filmmaker in Chicago.
½ July 21, 2012
A simple, yet beautifully honest piece of humanist filmmaking from first-time director Patrick Wang. If this film plays in your city, please seek out this overlooked gem of last year. Poignant, powerful and unique; this is one that can't be recommended enough.
July 7, 2012
Really good movie about family dynamics in the face of tragedy. Best movie I've seen in a long time. Enjoyed the Q&A with the director Patrick Wang following the movie.
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