August 06, 2013

In The Family (2011)

In The Family (2011)
Directed by: Patrick Wang
Country: USA

Review: “In The Family” is the first feature film from actor/writer/director Patrick Wang, whose simplicity and modesty bring sufficient motives to keep an eye on future materials from his authorship. The film depicts the story of Joey Williams (Wang) and his battle, without the law on his side, to keep the custody of Chip (Sebastian Banes), the 6-year-old biological son of his deceased partner Cody (Trevor St. John) whose sister, Eileen (Kelly McAndrew), became the legal guardian of the child. 169 minutes filled with long static shots, never seemed too much to depict this story about gay rights, in which the powerful silences can speak volumes and the emptiness of a shattered life feels real. In truth, the film gained much more with its introverted side, since it goes better with Joey’s personality, than if a vivid portrayal had been made. Detailed and unhurried, “In The Family” never reached my emotions deeply, but on the other hand, presented some other virtues, including enough surprising factors that were determinant for its success. Friendship, love, family relations, and prejudice, were addressed with both straightforwardness and sincerity. Its beautiful ending, along with natural and convincing performances, helped “In The Family” to stand out as a humanist, realistic, and unaggressive tale about a good man that was forced to go against a family that he considered his own.

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