SXSW 2018 Review: FAMILY

By Jan Hamilton

Kate (Taylor Schilling) is a seemingly successful VP of finance at a large firm.  However, no one seems to like her and she doesn’t understand why.   She is unable to see how truly awfully she treats her underlings at work.  She never fails to insult people in completely thoughtless ways, as she goes through her day.  When her own brother calls for help babysitting his teen while he and his wife go out of town to tend to an ill relative, she refuses.  She can’t even recall her niece’s name.  After much argument, she relents.

Her niece Maddie (Bryn Vale) is an odd kid who wants to be a magician, and is, of course, bullied at school.  Maddie just has no common interests with the other kids.  The overnight babysitting gig turns into a week, and Kate tries to juggle work with watching over Maddie.  While waiting for Kate at a gas station one evening, Maddie meets Dennis (Fabrizio Zacharee Guido), an enthusiastic teen who tells her about the Juggalos, a group of people who dress as clowns and follow the band Insane Clown Posse.  After an argument about attending a dance, Maddie runs away from Kate to join the Juggalos.

This is a funny story with lots of good performances.  No one here is a stock character.  Everyone is unique with much depth of character.  Thankfully, the movie never gets too sentimental or gooey.  It’s simply a nice, funny film with something new to offer.

Film Credits

Director:  Laura Steinel

Executive Producer:  Laura Steinel,

Dan Kaplow,

Taylor Schilling, Jeremy Garelick,

Viviana Zarragoitia,

Ali Jazayeri

Producer:  Sue Naegle, Kit Giordano

Screenwriter: Laura Steinel

Cinematographer: Michael Simmonds

Editor: Glenn Garland

Production Designer: Jennifer Klide

Sound Designer: Macaulay Flynt

Music: Jeremy Turner

Principal Cast: Taylor Schilling, Bryn Vale,

Brian Tyree Henry, Jessie Ennis, Blair Beeken,

Matt Walsh, Allison Tolman, Eric Edelstein,

Kate McKinnon, Fabrizio Guido

Additional Credits: Co- Proudcer: Glen Trotiner,

Co-Producer: John Portnoy,

Casting Director: Amey Rene, C.S.A.,

Costume Designer: Lorraine Coppin,

Music Supervisor: Brienne Rose

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