In the Family
Drama / Romance
In the Family
Drama / Romance
In the town of Martin, Tennessee, Chip Hines, a precocious six year old, has only known life with his two dads, Cody and Joey. And a good life it is. When Cody dies suddenly in a car accident, Joey and Chip struggle to find their footing again. Just as they begin to, Cody's will reveals that he named his sister as Chip's guardian. The years of Joey's acceptance into the family unravel as Chip is taken away from him. In his now solitary home life, Joey searches for a solution. The law is not on his side, but friends are. Armed with their comfort and inspired by memories of Cody, Joey finds a path to peace with the family and becomes closer to his son.
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February 14, 2018 at 04:53 AM
Good story Bad acting
This could've been a good film yet the acting by Wang is poor. He should've stuck with Directing on this film. The young boy is a better actor. It's also a bit slow. I don't have 5 lines to fill up that's it it's just a slow and poorly acted film. I think if they would've put another actor in the lead it might have been a better film. Wangs southern accent is a bit forced as well.
As a movie 6/10. As social advocacy 10/10
Joey Williams (Patrick Wang) and Cody Hines (Trevor St. John) are an interracial gay couple raising Cody's son Chip (Sebastian Banes) living in the American South. When Cody dies, his family and Joey slowly come apart resulting in Joey losing Chip.
The best thing about this is that it's not a melodrama where somebody is a cartoon villain. It is heart breaking at times. The ending is a tear jerker. The story is important, and compelling.
However, it must be judged as a movie and not as a social advocacy. For a first time indie, Patrick Wang does a great job of writing and directing. The biggest problem is the lack of editing. At 169 minutes, it is insanely long. There are long moments of nothing scenes. Patrick have these unthinkable long unimportant takes. It begs to be chop in half. It is possible to allow people time to sit and think. But it is not a good idea to force people to sit through nothing. When this movie works, it breaks your heart. When it doesn't work, it's unbearably boring.
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A unique and moving experience
This film is certainly not for everyone, at almost 3 hours length, with minimal soundtrack and mostly static shots. But I sat riveted until the end, as did most of the audience in the theater.
The plot sounds melodramatic: a gay Asian man fights for the custody of the son he shared with his deceased lover. But writer/director Patrick Wang, who seems clearly influenced by the understated Yasujiro Ozu and Ang Lee, avoids the easy moral conflicts. Instead, he focuses on the daily lives of mostly average and good hearted people. There are no stereotype villains here. Instead of a Hollywood court battle, we have an almost documentary like deposition meeting that still manages to be dramatic and emotionally true.
The cast is uniformly terrific, especially young Sebastian Banes as Chip and Brian Murray as the lawyer. Certain quietly powerful scenes still stay with me, like the kitchen scene post-funeral and Chip replaying the audiotape of his father's voice calling his name. Patrick Wang will be a talent to follow!