Written + Directed by Patrick Wang
2011 | USA | 169 min. | Not Rated
Cody and Joey are two characters most unlikely, and yet very lucky, to find love with one another in the small and charming town of Martin, Tennessee. They raise Cody’s newborn son in a loving and happy home for six years until tragedy unravels their concept of family.
After Cody dies in an accident, Joey’s life is turned upside down as he struggles with Cody’s relatives in a custody battle. Although the legal outcome is predictable, the film’s setting, characters, and story are surprising.
Martin is a pretty town with gentile neighbors who care as deeply about one another as they do about doing what they perceive is the right thing. Southern stereotypes and melodrama are missing in this complex but not uncommon story written and directed by Patrick Wang, who also stars in the film (yes-he is Asian, and yes-he has a Southern accent).
Although it is quite long, In the Family is a powerful and impressive first feature by Wang, who clearly is passionate about the issues presented. Wang is self-distributing his movie, and he is definitely a filmmaker and actor to keep on your radar. Although the film explores a sad and unjust situation, In the Family ends with an honest and satisfying resolution. – Marcie Collett
Principal Cast: Patrick Wang, Sebastian Banes, Trevor St. John
Nominated: Best First Feature – Independent Spirit Awards