Family (Laura Steinel, 2018): USA

Reviewed by Omar Jbilou. Viewed at AFI Fest 2018.

“Family”, Laura Steinel’s first work as a director, is a comedy that features Taylor Schilling, Brian Tyree Henry and Kate McKinnon. It follows the story of a workaholic that is finally getting to know her family better, a genuine and delightful movie.

The movie starts off with Kate (Schilling) the main character battling through a crowd of Juggalos, a group of troublemakers known for their crazy gatherings.

Then the movie rewinds a week before where we see her sat in her office. Kate has worked her way to the top of her firm and has been distant from her family since she left the house. Her relationship with her coworkers is flat since she wipes away any competition before there is any. On top of that, she’s become a crude and mean person, getting to the point is how she prefers communicating. Practical and efficient. When she has to watch her niece Maddie for one night because her brother needs to leave town for an emergency, she picks her up from her dance class an hour late, only to find her in a Karate class. Distracted by a work call, she forgets Maddie in the gas station where she meets a boy that teaches her about the Juggalo culture. Follows that a series of amusing incidents as she’s stuck with her niece for a week.

Taylor Schilling’s heavy-weight performance is without doubt boosting the movie’s quality. A dazzling and moving comedy that reminds us of the importance of family and that being successful is not the key to happiness. I give this movie a 8/10

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