Winner of Best Narrative Feature and the George C. Lin Emerging Filmmaker Award at San Diego Asian Film Festival.
Many critics could argue, perhaps convincingly, that In the Family could be edited from its almost 3 hours to 2 hours, however, the pacing of the film doesn’t suffer from its length. And by taking time to develop the almost mundane everyday life of a gay couple raising a young son, the film is actually a bold political statement that speaks directly to every person who thinks being gay is somehow a non-stop sex fest. Because of that, the film makes a very strong point even before the issues at the heart of the movie become front and center. It’s a family friendly film where sexual orientation is almost an afterthought of the movie and that is what sets the tone and makes it groundbreaking. That is a long winded way of saying that anyone who thinks the film should fit into a typical 2 hour movie formula, is missing the depth of the story and the emotional impact the pacing creates.
Many Asian-American actors would say they hate doing accents because they are connected with stereotypical roles, but Patrick Wang’s southern accent probably wasn’t what Asian-American actors had in mind and in this case it is a testament to Patrick’s incredible acting abilities. I am one who thinks directors should direct and not also take on the demand of acting in their own films because both can suffer, but Patrick Wang’s acting and directing are both amazing. He has embraced this film heart and soul and it’s evident in its emotional complexity and perhaps this is a case where it could not have been as successful without Patrick in both roles.
In the film the downward spiral starts with the confrontation between Joey (Patrick Wang) and Chad’s sister over the will and is a riveting scene that doesn’t leave the viewer rooting for anyone, but actually feeling the pain and the point each is making about the circumstances. But for Joey it is the most devastating because everything in his life is gone overnight; his partner, his child, and his home. The loneliness and destruction of his life is powerfully and beautifully created by Patrick’s acting and directing making this a heart wrenching film that shouldn’t be missed. And the film’s conclusion? Emotionally brilliant.
Patrick discusses with us the evolution of the film and why being the director and lead actor were central to its sucess is a fascinating look into filmmaking and the decision making process of a filmmaker that determines not just how sucessful the film will be, but how the story is ultimately told.
In the Familywill be screened on May 19th at 6:00PM in Long Beach, CA as part of the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. For more information about the festival and to purchase tickets visit their website: LAAPFF
In the Family screens in Santa Monica, CA at Laemmle Monica 4-Plex May 9th & 10th at 1:00PM, 4:50PM and 8:30PM. The film also screens at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival in Long Beach on May 19th @ 6:00PM. For more information about the festival screening, visit their website: LAAPFF
In the Family Trailer