"A signature achievement… deliberate and marked by uncommon grace, IN THE FAMILY manages to feel politically and culturally acute without ever resorting to melodrama, or having to wave banners for issues or causes, except perhaps in its quiet way for a renewed humanism in movies and a return to stories about everyday lives."
"I was completely absorbed from beginning to end. What a courageous first feature this is, a film that sidesteps shopworn stereotypes and tells a quiet, firm, deeply humanist story about doing the right thing. It is a film that avoids any message or statement and simply shows us, with infinite sympathy, how the life of a completely original character can help us lead our own."
"A beautifully written and performed plea for understanding... the tale recalls the social realism of John Cassavetes with long takes in which silence and the faces of those in emotional pain are as potent as words... Wang's meticulously modulated storytelling never flags and... will move many viewers with its dignity and restraint."
"A remarkably fresh and unpredictable drama...the film boasts more than a few memorable performances — by Elaine Bromka, Park Overall and Kelly McAndrew, among others — and one truly remarkable turn by the stage great Brian Murray, as a grandfatherly Southern lawyer with a voice as smooth and warm as a tumbler of bourbon, a role worthy of Will Rogers... Beautifully modulated and stylistically sui generis, IN THE FAMILY is also one of the most accomplished and undersold directorial debuts this year... One senses that [Wang] is rediscovering the rules of cinema on his own. This is a career to keep an eye on."
"Everyday happiness and heartache have never been more beautifully portrayed… Simple and down-to-earth, yet profound and poetic, IN THE FAMILY takes a subject that in any other setting would feel controversial and divisive and makes it a launching point for healing and clarity. Several facts about IN THE FAMILY are astounding. It is the director's first feature film. One of the principal actors is a little boy who holds his own with any adult. And its running time turns out to be 169 minutes, though it seems as taut as any two-hour film, and in some respects a viewer might want it never to end."
"This deeply humanistic, profoundly touching work representing independent cinema at its finest should be seen by far wider audiences. By the time the film reaches its deeply moving conclusion, you will have been completely drawn in by its powerfully elemental storytelling."
"With an incisive understanding of character, believably naturalistic acting, and lengthy scenes that don't feel stretched out so much as given room to breathe... Wang evinces a keen awareness of the ways in which family members interact, grieve, and open their hearts to one another."
"...it's so morally invigorating you might just feel the world tremble."
"Burrows into the lives of its tragedy-rocked characters with such unassuming patience and empathy that only later does one begin to fully digest the audacity of its formal choices and feel the impact of its personal-is-political urgency."
"One of the best American debuts in years… The movie aches with understated feeling and empathy, allowing even the antagonistic characters a measure of complexity and humanity. Wang isn’t making a movie about gays and straights; he’s making a movie about people. And it’s terrific."
"The cream always rises to the top. Imagine a raw-nerved Cassavetes feature shot with rigorous Zen contemplativeness and you’ll have a sense of IN THE FAMILY’s mesmeric style, which gives every single character their dignified due. Wang has made a confidently intimate movie that is devastatingly larger-than-life."
"Movies like IN THE FAMILY are why I fell in love with film to begin with, and why I have been writing about it for all these years — so it's a bit ironic that I find myself unable to summon words that adequately capture how beautiful and astonishing and important I think it is. It's not just that it wrung me out like a wet hankie — plenty of movies can do that. But at its best, art has the power to break our hearts and then, when it puts them back together again, make us realize that we may have had some of the pieces in the wrong place. IN THE FAMILY is required viewing for anyone with a heart to break."
"IN THE FAMILY’s most impressive feat may be the modesty with which it conceals its own technical mastery. Wang has an unconventional but uncannily right sense for where to place his camera, and how long to leave it running... With a quiet confidence not unlike that of the exacting carpenter he plays, Patrick Wang establishes himself as a major directing, writing, and acting talent who puts his virtuosity in service of the story rather than using it as a flashy career calling card. I can’t wait to see what intricate world he decides to build next."
"In deftly composed takes of considerable duration, Wang often focuses on the listener in a given exchange, allowing the audience to listen and absorb the weight of the situation... it works like gangbusters"
"It’s tough for the drama. For every movie that is successfully earnest and sincere in its heartbreaking story, about fifty others are willed into the cinema that rest on familiar tropes, forced emotions lacking any legitimate heart, and a trusty sensational score that knows just when to blare. Their power is so considerable that it’ll make a pessimist out of even the least bitter moviegoer. But when that anomaly does come along, it needs to be held high, trumpeted so fiercely that it drowns out all of the other hollow tearjerkers. So here we shall declare Patrick Wang’s IN THE FAMILY that able wonder to which we shall champion with fervor."
"IN THE FAMILY is a singular work that kicks convention to the curb... a transcendent experience that, with each surprise of aesthetic daring, achieves uncommon dramatic heights... an unforgettable feat of unflinching filmmaking."
"One of the most mature and nuanced narratives this reviewer has seen in some time... IN THE FAMILY is the kind of film that creatively circumvents industrial machinations to restore faith in independent filmmaking."
"This unconventional, utterly compelling drama draws you in… an affecting, thought-provoking film by a bold new quadruple-threat talent with an assured and singular style."
"IN THE FAMILY is the kind of film I step out of and can't wait to tell people about... Completely confident in its storytelling, with restrained, realistic performances and unapologetic aesthetic choices, it's a compelling narrative with a lot of heart."
"Filled with life, humor and a tender understanding of human nature... miraculous by its very existence and will inspire a lot of conversations along the lines of 'who is this guy, and how on earth did he make this movie?' This film is a must-see, an eye-opening debut that deserves to be part of the current film conversation."
"There’s something quietly radical, even optimistic, about Wang’s take on the capacity of family and friends to cope with an untenable legal arrangement. Largely spurned by the festival circuit, this self-distributed release has won a handful of early champions among critics. Good on them: It’s not often you emerge from a film asking, Where did this movie come from? And why aren’t more people talking about it?"
"So much better than the bulk of celebrated American indies… it earns its epic scale."
"Unfolding as a deeply immersive slow burn, in quiet rooms warmed and lived-in and painted by soft autumnal light, IN THE FAMILY leads us to a place few films do: it is at once its own very specific world and a world that almost anyone can recognize. When the film is done you feel you've lived there for a time. It takes its time to get where it's going, and there are detours along the way, but every moment is filled with small discovery, a dialogue between memory and the present that builds steadily and complicatedly toward a powerful emotional release."
"An American epic... By taking his time in telling this heartfelt tale of a custody battle in Tennessee that is further complicated by issues of homosexuality and race and family bloodlines, Wang has delivered a work of grand humanism that sits alongside a bona fide classic like TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD."
"Its attention to domestic spaces and how we live and move within them, in fact, nearly makes it a Tennessean heir to the films of Yasujiro Ozu. While not part of the awards competition in Hawaii, IN THE FAMILY still takes the prize as the festival’s strongest film, and the most surprising and astounding DIY American narrative of the year."
"A beautiful, somber, and absorbing drama... pitch-perfect indie is a deeply generous and human look at love, family, alienation, and the limitations of the legal system."
"A film you may not have heard of before... but will shake you up and not let you forget it long after viewing. Like that wonderful memory of a first kiss, or a hug from a loved one, or when a friend reaches out to help, IN THE FAMILY is a movie of small and beautiful moments with big ambition behind it."
"John Cassavetes can finally rest in peace. His true spiritual son may just have been found, much to the delight of moviegoers who have despaired that the American cinema was no longer truly independent and avant-garde."
"In a time when it seems as if the entire country is spiraling into chaos and hostility, IN THE FAMILY shows a simple (but not easy) way through and around America’s complex problems. Wang offsets a formal rigor that could make Robert Bresson feel like a slob with an appreciation and respect for his characters. The margins of Wang’s frame are the margins of society, where beautiful, terrible things are happening in silence. The final scene offers hope for the small family it fretted over for three hours, but implicitly, lyrically, for our planetary extended family. Racism, for one thing, has broken my heart many times over in America, but the final scene of IN THE FAMILY gives us all a way out of this mess. "
"A game-changing heartland family custody drama… Wang keeps Joey in a low gear, surrendering the spotlight to his ensemble. Observe Sebastian Brodziak's Chip nurture Dad, pouring out a Coke while uncapping Joey's beer as Dad sits lost in grief. Brian Murray burns warmly as a courtly old-school lawyer who cuts to the heart of the case."
"I was struck by the degree to which Wang's film overlaps thematically with another that, on the surface, it in no way resembles. In the first chapter of Peter Jackson's blockbuster trilogy, THE HOBBIT, the wizard Gandalf is asked why he asked a 'halfling' to join his dangerous mission. He replies: 'I have found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. . . small acts of kindness and love.' Peter Jackson's construction of mammoth spectacle on this simple foundation is a logistical triumph, but Wang's success at creating compelling intimate drama on the same theme is no less of a challenge. If it were easy, more people would do it. For those willing to make the effort, highest recommendation."
"The year's best debut feature. The audience I saw it with gave it a standing ovation. Wang's commitment to letting a scene breath pays off immensely in the film's cliché-demolishing climax, the most hopeful (and unconventional) legal showdown in recent movie history."
"The film's patient focus is a wonder to behold. This story could have fueled a preachy exposé on the legal horrors confronting gay couples and the desperate, dramatic need for marriage equality. In Wang's hands, it's a nearly three-hour, deeply subtle snapshot of a fully complicated gay life. Rarely is a film this stylistically audacious also this humane."
"A timely, heartbreaking and inspiring story, Wang's first effort may set you back about 169 minutes, but it's well worth it."
"The film I have most often recommended since I first saw it last year. The lack of a distributor makes me really sad because this careful film so deserves an audience. Its deliberate pace has led several critics to categorize it in the genre of ‘slow cinema,’ characterized by long takes and a minimalist, observational tone, but you will be hard-pressed to find a film that is more carefully constructed, suspenseful and in its way, revolutionary."
"Trevor St. John's heartwrenching portrayal of Pa Cody Hines sets the tone and helps anchor the film... young Sebastian Brodziak is the heart and soul of this film, on which everything else rides. The stunning photography left me shaking my head in wonder, both in its simplicity as well as boldness. A groundbreaking effort that raises the bar for what an American independent film can accomplish."
"In some ways IN THE FAMILY is the CITIZEN KANE of domestic-issue movies, for it is always employing innovative staging, camera placement, and lighting for subtly dramatic effect."
"This year saw the release of many impressive debut films, but they all feel weightless compared to Patrick Wang's ambitious, compassionate, and devastating three-hour masterpiece... in Wang we have found a major talent, a chronicler of complex emotional collisions and reflections who expresses himself profoundly without resorting to theatrics."
"An honest, subtle, and very human story about the dense, bewildering terrain of family, grief, and forgiveness. In an era where glibness is king, IN THE FAMILY was a quiet revolution, and the work of a remarkably talented director."
"Frequently, 'understated' can mean wispy, or it can represent a sort of unacknowledged embarrassment about the real idiosyncrasies of life that passes as a conscious stylistic choice. But once in a while, it can mean fully and purely present. By the end of IN THE FAMILY, we’re so familiar with the main characters’ habits and surroundings that we know what it’s like to sit in their kitchen, how a familiar space has the power to be alternately comforting, stifling, or even torturous in a time of grief. In the film, Wang has created a tiny universe in full, and I truly hope he plans to show us more in the future."
"One of the most natural, unaffected, and graceful independent films in recent memory. IN THE FAMILY is the reason independent movies exist. It explores family values without a political bias, and always favors a quiet, telling moment over a loud, dramatic one. Like an act of cinematic civil-disobedience, IN THE FAMILY demonstrates its virtues through gentle persuasion."
"A long, moving, and extraordinarily intelligent drama… Like Joey, Wang is also a patient craftsman, and IN THE FAMILY takes place in measured scenes that require a becalmed audience. You are seduced by the characters and the plot of the film, but you must relax into it, and you are rewarded by small bits of exquisite filmmaking."
"I'm not sure why most movies have developed a specific plunge-ahead tempo, ignoring the little moments between that can say so much more. IN THE FAMILY says very little and moves hardly at all, but it captures invisible rhythms about our lives as human beings that very few American movies ever get close to. This is a truly remarkable film."
"Experiencing this film is like being briefly dropped into someone else's life. In a good way. Those who begin as outsiders here finish up familiar as family. The film is so subtle that nobody ever talks about the obvious issues involved—they just live them. It's quite extraordinary."
"A thoughtful and often heartbreakingly honest story… that refuses to be rushed as it eloquently tells its simple and moving tale."
"A chalkboard in the foreground bears a teacher’s scrawled request to reduce a problem down to its 'absolute values'. The teacher, it turns out, is one of a small boy’s two daddies, and when he’s pulled out of the equation, the results are all too complicated. A stunning debut feature… it’s worth investing the time in this lovingly crafted, plainspoken plea for elemental compassion."
"It defies visual and narrative conventions. Expertly pulling in (when a 30-min deposition scene dares you not to be sucked in) and pulling away (when the reaction is more powerful than the triggering incident), Wang understands what the viewer needs, even if it's nothing we've ever seen before."
"IN THE FAMILY is extraordinary, and it casts a spell on the big screen that can't be reproduced in your living room. Watching the story unfold, you're reminded that suspense — the bitch goddess of Hollywood, to whom every young screenwriter prays — is unrelated to screen time, that it can be created and sustained at the most leisurely pace, without any pumping score or jittery editing. The small-town neighborliness turns out to be central. That they [Cody and Joey] share many of their neighbors' traditional values reinforces the sense that they belong to the town, and that Chip belongs to Joey, no matter how unhappy this makes some people."
"A small miracle of a film that heralds the debut of a promising new director Patrick Wang who soars above first film pit holes and resonates Abbas Kiarostami, Kelly Reichardt and John Sayles sensibility in cinema language. A remarkable achievement and a gem of independent filmmaking that will speak across difference to anyone who has loved a child and/or lost a partner."
"Not overblown or emotionally exploitive, sublime in its simplicity, honesty and impact. Throughout, Wang chooses gentle storytelling as a tool of persuasion rather than soap-box hectoring to make his point: that love—in all its forms—can transcend the greatest obstacles."
"IN THE FAMLY opened on Friday at the Esquire Theatre, and it’s hard to tell how long it may be there. May I encourage you to go as soon as possible, and take along any film-loving friends you have. This is a truly magical film that will enthrall from beginning to end, and leave you wanting to say, 'may I have some more please?'"
"Something not quite nameable is taking place. Part of that, I think, is due to Wang's graceful technique—slow and contemplative with few cuts, filled with long takes with room to focus on minute details—which help move his story away from the stereotypical histrionics the material would suggest. At the film's surprising fade-out, Wang has not only seemed to posit the theory that the definition of 'family' has grown in many imperceptible ways—he has demonstrated it."
"The results are revelatory. Over the course of nearly three hours, a potentially distancing technique instead draws the audience closer to this close-knit alternative household. What's even more striking, though, is the director's use of space, how he is able to achieve more nuance with just a handful of static shots than with a more conventional approach."
"IN THE FAMILY touches on the issues of race, sexuality and politics facing this country today in an honest and earnest manner rarely encountered in mainstream cinema but wholeheartedly felt when applied."
"Sebastian Banes, as little Chip, doesn’t show any sign of self-consciousness, embodying his character with spark and charm. Trevor St. John, as Cody, masterfully plays a character who’s charming on the surface but buffeted by inner demons."
"It draws you in and never loosens its grip… the acting, too, could not be better."
"Who knows exactly why Patrick Wang's first feature was passed over by 30 major film festivals before he settled for self-distribution. Do not make the same mistake as the professionals; this is one of the most exciting and thoughtful American indies to emerge in recent years. A shining example of filmmaking for our times: what the new American cinema can and should be."
"Wang uses a variety of fascinating formal gambits to explore his characters and themes. His use of the film frame is a case in point: Wang often has onscreen action play out in a small sliver of space in the corners of his expansive compositions. The majority of the screen is thus taken up by an unmoving object, such as an unoccupied backyard or the trunk of a tree. In one particularly striking instance, we observe Joey’s son Chip listen to an entire voicemail from Joey through a small crack between a door and its frame. These tiny fractures, in context, vividly suggest underlying internal forces constantly threatening to come to the surface."
"Wang isn’t locked into anything remotely resembling mainstream style... the other quality that Wang achieves is to avoid any overt sense of the political. The characters he has created are not symbols, not stick figures fueling an ongoing cultural divide, but merely people: living and loving and doing their best just to be."
"A deceptively gorgeous and affecting film, a towering emotional drama that overwhelms you not with a treacly musical underscore or wistful cinematography but with is devotion to the verisimilitude of everyday life. It succeeds precisely because it seems so realistic — you feel every moment as if it is happening to you. There’s a tendency to pigeonhole IN THE FAMILY as 'a gay film' or 'an Asian film' or 'a gay Asian film.' I truly don’t see that. It’s simply the most humane and heartfelt drama I’ve seen in ages."
"Every so often, unpredictably, a film comes out of nowhere, with no pomp or circumstance, heralding a brilliant new cinematic talent. Quietly debuting at the tail end of 2011, Patrick Wang’s IN THE FAMILY, received a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award, which set off a slow but steady trickle of theatrical releases for this quiet gem across the country. Skillfully avoiding stereotypes, clichés, and any manner of manipulative techniques in order to generate emotional discourse, Wang has created what sounds like a hot topic potboiler on paper and made a film that’s as hopefully humanistic as it is melancholically realistic."
"A film that’s completely crushing at times, and entirely uplifting at others. As an actor, Wang plays Joey so well that you have to wonder whether he’s just playing himself, but it’s as director where he truly makes a statement, taking several interesting and creative chances with camera placement and angles in order to make the audience feel the same sense of estrangement as his character."
"A heart wrenching film that shouldn't be missed. And the film's conclusion? Emotionally brilliant."
"IN THE FAMILY is a true tour-de-force, and a testament to the spirit of good, solid independent filmmaking."
"Its sensibility is so different from most other movies that it feels like it arrived from a parallel universe. Watching it, you get a glimpse of what movies could be if young filmmakers stopped chasing Hollywood, if they just eschewed all the preconceived modes. It's one of the most unusual, affecting indie debuts ever, and a small gem."
"IN THE FAMILY upends one's expectations of how a low-budget indie fare should operate. It's a film that leans hard on the writing and performances… both of which are superbly focused and marvelous to behold. Yes, it's a patiently-moving, long film but, make no mistake, every minute vibrates with a quiet, resonant beauty. This is an astoundingly great film, easily one of the ten best I've seen all year."
"The film reveals itself to be confident in every one of its choices, establishing its own terms in how an audience familiarizes themselves within its world with startling naturalism, and it grows to be beautiful in form and function as it comes together in remarkably graceful way, a true feat given that it takes on matters of race, sexual identity and the construction of family... a film about the acceptance of an outsider that hopefully will be replicated in real life as more audiences are able to discover Wang’s accomplished debut."
"In the digital era, when films are made so cheaply, it’s more difficult than ever for debut filmmakers to get heard without showing up with the proper connections. We shouldn’t be shocked when movies as emotionally generous as IN THE FAMILY fall through the cracks; we should just be encouraged when they get noticed."
"This is a genuine film, with a real heart. Overall, this is a love story, both in the explaining of Cody and Joey's relationship and their bonds with Chip. It's a story with a lasting impact, and the acclaim IN THE FAMILY is beginning to garner is well-deserved."
"In Hollywood, urban landscapes in blue states are still considered the only places on earth where anything interesting occurs; films set in red states must, by general agreement, be like THE HELP (2011), that is, criticize backward, racist attitudes. IN THE FAMILY’s biggest sin may be to expose our own prejudices by depicting a tolerant Southern town where racist and homophobic reactions are far outnumbered by accepting and loving ones."
"Believe the hype. IN THE FAMILY really is that good. Patrick Wang’s film, which is about so much, grief, family, fear, belonging (and being outside the charmed circle of belonging), love, child-rearing, parenting, understanding, intimacy, misunderstanding, is also about the American dream. We are all just making our way through this life, and we disagree, sometimes horribly, but nothing is a done deal, as long as we keep attempting to listen."
"The film’s organic visual construction, allowing its characters time and space to emote naturally, is as well shot of a movie I’ve seen in years. The nuance and subtlety of Wang’s masterpiece is illustrated in a scene that makes us both cry and laugh within a matter of ten seconds. I spare the details for the sake of going into this movie without any prior knowledge of the plot. All you need to know is that IN THE FAMILY is a towering achievement in contemporary cinema."
"Wang's talents as an actor are equalled or perhaps even surpassed by his talents as a director. His ear for naturalistic dialogue— where conversations ramble, overlap, and flow as they do in the real world—recalls the work of Robert Altman. His eye for simple but evocative compositions, static shots, and long takes that feature characters moving in and out of the frame reawakens our minds to the modern potential of these supposedly old fashioned techniques."
"That may sound like a depressing slog (especially when again considering the film’s length) but it miraculously isn’t. Wang gets the credit for that, not only as director but as writer and star as well. He fills Joey with so much goodness, warmth and humor in a realistic— and realistically Southern—way that the notion of spending more time with him is a welcome one. Wang is not alone in onscreen competence. Almost every character is well-realized in both direction and performance, especially Banes, as talented a child actor as has been seen in years."
"The unadorned realism with which IN THE FAMILY tells the story of a gay couple raising their son in Martin, Tenn. is a refreshing wonder… this is the most assured first feature to come along in quite some time."
"Subtle and smart, the film offers a new way of seeing that diverges radically from the classic Hollywood style of filmmaking… IN THE FAMILY is not only one of the best Asian American films I’ve seen in a long time, it’s one of the best films, period, that I’ve seen in a long time."
"You'll find no over the top histrionics here, no shouting or crying or unnecessary melodrama, just a quiet sense of justice. It's so subtle that the final shot hits like a bomb. It is an emotionally shattering denouement to one of the year's most truly special debuts, heralding the arrival of a thrilling new cinematic voice. There's really nothing else quite like it, and as it continues its slow journey across the country, the number of hearts it has touched will only continue to grow. Make sure yours is one of them."
"I had no clue what a treat I was in for. IN THE FAMILY is a beautiful film about family, loss, and love. It’s about what pulls us apart and what can put us back together and how often, when we’re in pain, what we need the most is just to listen to each other and be heard ourselves."
"Patrick Wang, the film’s director, writer, producer, star and whatever else needed to be done, ultimately became the superstar of this festival. Since Ebertfest is a small, approachable community, it was pretty easy to see Wang getting a lot of attention from festival-goers. With people like Tilda Swinton, Richard Linklater and hotly talked-about films like ESCAPE FROM TOMORROW at the festival, the idea that this unknown filmmaker and his film would end up being the most talked about during the festival really says something about the quality of IN THE FAMILY."
"The film is made with great taste, and with something like the mysterious cohesiveness of Mike Leigh's films. Most of all, it's made with the kind of assurance and intelligence you can scarcely believe exists in a first-time director."
"It returns in an expanded engagement right when Hollywood is rolling out its flashiest year-end fare, which IN THE FAMILY neither resembles nor aspires to resemble; its story unfolds via remarkably low-key scenes, most of which are shot using extremely long single takes. Not many films, even self-produced indie dramas, dare allow so much breathing room into each sequence. It's a 'message movie' that prefers subtlety over speechifying, and is all the more powerful for it."
"The film is incredibly moving but also surprisingly funny at times. Films with this much heart are rare enough, but films with this much heart that are not patronizing or manipulative are downright endangered."
"Upending the stereotype of Southern bigotry, never do the characters make overt references to homosexuality or race; the negative space stands out as the one of the film’s most memorable aspects. This is a movie that doesn’t dumb it down for the audience."
"The confessional monologue central to IN THE FAMILY is so engrossing—an emotional oasis in the middle of a legal deposition!—that it takes on a life of its own."
"One of the best family stories I've ever seen, a movie in which an attorney's experience and wisdom are respected, and the human capacity for civility, companionship and love are affirmed."
"'When the person sitting across the table is no longer an adversary, a lot more is possible.' The demonstration of this brings to the fore all of Wang's skill. The scene is quiet, filled with verbiage... and minute behavior, and it is utterly riveting. No one raises a voice but the viewer's emotions are made very nearly palpable."
"Everything about this film is understated and subtle. But that doesn't mean it doesn't pack an emotional wallop. Its pacing mirrors that of Southern living, but it also paints an intimate, uber-realistic picture of lives Joey and Cody and their inner circle lead; you feel as if you're in the room with these people as pivotal and meaningful moments in their lives unfurl."
"Do not mistake the low-key drama of IN THE FAMILY as un-dynamic. There are points in the film where things seem so hopeless for Joey, it makes one wonder why the film is even continuing. But, instead, it builds up to smart levels of dramatic twists and turns. With subtlety comes one of the most powerful dramas of the year not-to-be-missed."
"Wang’s fascinating camerawork adds to the film’s complexity. Often placed off-center of the action or behind a character while they are speaking, the camera sneaks around the characters, trying to listen in on private family conversations."
"The pacing and shot structure forms a unique cinematic language that is quite purposeful. IN THE FAMILY may not abide by Hollywood conventions, and it requires a longer-than-usual time commitment for a film, but it is something that should be experienced by everyone."
"A compelling tale about redefining family... Wang's film challenges a lot of the formula that often comes with gay drama... what Wang realizes is that his themes are stronger when we care about the characters and the story first."
"It takes a lot of brass to conceive a scene that nears the twenty minute mark and make it no less than the penultimate one in a movie. But Patrick Wang’s IN THE FAMILY had that distinction from the get-go: the director shot scenes in single long takes, delivered a three hour cut, and when festivals turned their backs on his baby, he took it on the road himself. Of course, we might call that 'stubborn' if the film wasn’t at all competent, but thankfully FAMILY is a hugely touching, sensitive film without a false note in its makeup."
"There are so many good film schools out there, and so many relatively easy ways to get a film made, that it's rare to see a film that's made by a true outsider perspective. Wang's debut is just such a film, and it makes him a filmmaker to watch."
"You’re not likely to find a more compassionate piece of storytelling this year, thanks in large part to a markedly restrained tour-de-force performance by the film’s writer-director, Patrick Wang. At any moment, this could have taken a wrong turn and hit a sentimental embankment. Wang’s unblinking camera bores through any potential cliches to reveal a tough heart beneath the film’s seemingly gentle outer surface."
"Succeeds because it simply tells a story, as opposed to trying to make a point, and because it’s so interestingly conceived and shot. IN THE FAMILY explores what defines modern families, and it does so by defying our expectations of what a movie like this should be."