In 1970s American suburbia, Maggie and her younger siblings spend the night telling each other stories in the attic. Downstairs, their parents put on airs and entertain guests over the course of a gin-soaked evening. The more they drink, the faster the artificial civility of the gathering deteriorates, and for the first time, the family is forced to confront the truth behind the betrayals and disappointments of their lives.
By grounding her film in authentic, honest emotion, filmmaker Julia Dyer presents a portrait of family life that rings utterly true. This is not simply a nostalgic melodrama, but rather a serious examination of family life that will surely resonate with audiences. Dyer perfectly captures the poignancy of childhood and the inevitable moment when a child comes to realize that her parents are flawed individuals. Showcasing standout performances from John Hawkes, Molly Parker, and a cast of talented young actors, this is a candid and challenging look at the reality behind the façade of a seemingly perfect American family. –William Goldberg