IMAGINE A PERFECT FAMILY: two loving fathers and a sweet six-year-old boy living in a small, comfortable Tennessee home. All with adorable Southern accents! And matching cereal bowls! Then imagine everything terrible happening in a matter of weeks to this family—throwing one of the fathers, Joey (Patrick Wang, who also wrote and directed), into a mad scramble to regain the carefree life he once had, a stark contrast to his tumultuous childhood.
In the Family tackles the aftermath of a spouse's death in a gay marriage, illustrating the emotional whirlwind of a child custody dispute with beautiful, long takes carefully paced with silence and telling dialogue. In place of staged, perfectly framed shots, Wang favors off-center, out-of-focus, captivating glimpses into this fragmented situation, and instead of having a rage blackout—a move you'll secretly want him to make—Joey patiently negotiates with his dead husband's family and his own self-control in order to win back the right to raise his young son. Putting a face behind an issue that's usually lost in legal files, In the Family offers a fresh, necessary angle on a hot-button topic while holding onto a timeless theme: the importance of family.