"In the Family centers on one of the notable performances I've seen — if, indeed, it is a performance. ... This is his first feature, and may signal the opening of an important career." So wrote Roger Ebert of Patrick Wang, the writer-director and star of a drama whose plot could scarcely be more topical in these parts: A gay parent in Martin, Tenn., faces losing his son when his dead partner's sister files a custody challenge.
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.
The movie, which has received raves as passionate as Ebert's all year, makes its Nashville debut 7 p.m. tonight at The Belcourt as the last selection in its "25 New Faces of Independent Film" series. Director-star Wang will attend the screening and host a discussion afterward. Click here for more information.