The Family Fang

BBB

(out of 5)


directs and stars in this promising but ultimately ineffective adaptation of the novel by Kevin Wilson.  He and plays siblings who have entered a complicated adulthood after being raised by their performance artist parents (played in the past by and , in the present by and ) whose craft centered around disruptive pranks in public settings, the kind of thing that could only have earned them grant money in the seventies.  Kidman is now a low-grade movie star and Bateman a novelist with writer’s block who is taking money for magazine articles on subjects he’s not proud of, including one about potato guns that gets him sent to the hospital with an injury to his ear.  The brother and sister are informed that their parents have gone missing, their car found abandoned with traces of blood on the dashboard, and they both assume it’s another performance piece, resisting the alarm that the authorities raise for what they believe is an abduction or possibly worse.  Trying to figure out where their folks have gone leads to painful memories of an unconventional childhood, one whose harsh coming-of-age experiences force these two to contemplate whether or not they really had it all that bad or if they’re just not looking at it the right way.  Rather than really explore this, though, the film caps its narrative with a conclusion that defies even the characters’ worst expectations but leaves the audience feeling slightly rushed out the door.  The end result is a respectable effort on everyone’s part, though the uneven screenplay makes Bateman and Kidman feel like guests in a production that never establishes its central figures.


, , , , ,

USA, 2015

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the novel by

Cinematography by

Produced by Jason Bateman, , , , , , ,

Music by

Production Design by 

Costume Design by

Film Editing by


Toronto International Film Festival:  2015


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