In the Family | Review

Ties That Bind: Wang’s Debut a Cinematic Knockout

Every so often, unpredictably, a film comes out of nowhere, with no pomp or circumstance, heralding a brilliant new cinematic talent. Quietly debuting at the tail end of 2011, Patrick Wang’s In the Family, received a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award, which set off a slow but steady trickle of theatrical releases for this quiet gem across the country. Skillfully avoiding stereotypes, clichés, and any manner of manipulative techniques in order to generate emotional discourse, Wang has created what sounds like a hot topic potboiler on paper and made a film that’s as hopefully humanistic as it is melancholically realistic.

Chip (Sebastian Banes), wakes up one morning and bounces into his parents’ bedroom, waking up his dads, Joey (Patrick Wang), and Cody (Trevor St. John). We watch their breakfast ritual, as the three warmly and familiarly converse, all
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