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In the Family [Blu-ray]


List Price: CDN$ 39.95
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 28 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
A completely absorbing and outstanding film debut May 16 2013
By Richard Harrold - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have been advocating for this film ever since I first saw it in Chicago. When it came back to Chicago, I went to see it again. I am dumbfounded that it wasn't considered for an Academy Award.

Patrick Wang's direction is thoughtful, well-considered, and a pleasant change from traditional Hollywood film making. Scenes in which the action is happening off-camera carry more impact than had the action been filmed.

The film's subject matter -- same-sex families, two dads, fighting relatives over child custody, death, loss, homophobia, race, love -- could have easily turned this film into a maudlin mess were it not for Wang's skillful screenwriting, directing, and acting. The film also skillfully avoids being overtly political despite the subject matter. I'm writing my own first screenplay and I've learned a lot just from repeatedly watching this film.

I know it sounds like hyperbole, but this is seriously the best film I've seen in years.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The stuff Academy Award winning films are made of May 16 2013
By Scott A. Eriksson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
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.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Powerful film, beautiful blu-ray July 3 2013
By Colby - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
What does it mean to be a family? For some family is defined as one man, one woman, both attached to God, with children and an eternal sealing. For others (including me) family is defined as a group of people who love each other. Simple.

Joey and Cody have raised their son, Chip, for at least 5 years together. Normal, every-day routines of two loving parents and one lucky child begin the film. Then, suddenly, Cody dies. Joey and Chip are left behind, numb, grieving and being pulled back into the every-day. Life seems to go on.

Until Joey is informed of Cody's will. It states that Chip, along with all of Cody's possessions, belongs to Cody's sister and husband. Joey is quickly pushed out of the picture and left without any legal custody of his son. Thus begins a slow, powerful journey of understanding, love, and family.

In The Family is 169 minutes long. It is drawn out, subtle, and realistic. There isn't any background music. Many scenes don't include dialogue. It is simply a window into the life of these characters. It lets us see them for who they are, watch them eat, talk, and try to understand the bumps of life and their bruises from them. It is an art film, an indie film, and a quietly powerful experience, one which benefits from more than one viewing. Film: 4/5 STARS

The video quality is nearly perfect. The material is presented neatly. None of this film is flashy, but rather subdued and realistic. This style of film looks good on Blu-ray. Video: 5/5 STARS

Audio is good. The film is filled with conversations and real-life sounds. Dialogue is easy enough to hear. Audio: 4/5 STARS

Extras include video essays and written essays that are especially interesting. The Blu-ray case fits the mood of the film, with a booklet inside and a sturdy enough slipcover. Extras: 3.5/5

Overall: 4.5/5 STARS. A powerful, realistic film. Highly recommended!

Rating: Not Rated.
My Rating: PG-13 for Thematic Material and Brief Language.
Ages 13 and up.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Quiet, Tough, Totally Engrossing May 18 2013
By Robert Locke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I saw this movie twice in the theater with audiences who were rapt, in certain places even softly gasping at the quiet surprises in the tremendously moving storyline.

Patrick Wang is not only a masterful actor and writer but also the best kind of director who chooses exactly the right actor for every part and brings out of those actors the depth of character with a minimum of movement and expression. Wang's work with the cinematographer puts not only every scene at the edge of the frame, but also the nerves of the audience who learn what it is and what it means to be literally "on edge", to be outside or as nearly outside of the community as a body can get.

Yet there are no villains here: all the characters are rich and motivated by only the best motivations; that is what makes the conflict so gripping and so human.

In so many reviews of this extraordinary film there are nods to the length of the movie as if it might be considered a detriment, but the length and slowness are immediately recognizably integral to the film, the fullness and emptiness of the same moment in time, the hugeness of the emotion yet the tiny pinpricks of all of the hurts and poignancies within that emotion, brilliant and excruciating and dear.

I have ordered six copies to give to my best friends since they were unable to see the movie in the movie theater. I think anyone who sees this movie will want to do the same because it is not only unique, not only profound to the deepest part of one's psyche and love, but utterly fulfilling.

Bob Locke
Sacramento CA
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Indie-Masterpiece May 17 2013
By Riff Mattre - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
Powerful. Subtle. Deliberate. Immersive. Inspirational. Challenging. Groundbreaking.

"In the Family" is not about the knee-jerk morality questions our society regularly pontificates on the surfaces of right and wrong. Rather, it is about multiple layers of meaning behind such words as truth, innocence, justice, empathy, compassion, family, and love as they actually play out in the real, down-to-earth lives that we live together as a human family. This film is no less than an indie-masterpiece.

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