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155 Ratings

In the Family

Directed by Patrick Wang
United States, 2011
Drama, Romance


Chip Hines, a precocious six year old, has only known life with his two dads, Cody and Joey. When Cody dies suddenly in a car accident, Joey and Chip struggle to find their footing again. Just as they begin to, Cody’s will reveals that he named his sister as Chip’s guardian.

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In the Family Directed by Patrick Wang

Awards & Festivals

Independent Spirit Awards

2012 | Nominee: Best First Feature

Village Voice Film Poll

2012 | 3rd place: Best First Feature

Wang (a first-time writer-director with an extensive background in both theater and economics) is dealing with hot-button subject matter, but he cools it down through extended, exquisitely crafted long takes. Commonplace horizontals and verticals—a living-room doorway, a row of elevated kitchen cabinets—provide simple, striking compositions, letting us feel the lived-in domestic spaces that are rocked by Cody and then Chip’s absences.
June 26, 2013
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The film climaxes in a riveting half-hour-plus deposition for which Joey has summoned his ostensible enemies, simply so that they will hear him talk. Wang, like Joey, clearly believes that understanding comes through knowledge, the assertion of a shared humanity. This scene is a revelation for all listeners, both those on screen and in the audience: during what amounts to a lengthy monologue, we finally learn about Joey’s obscured past.
November 26, 2012
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Set in a surprisingly laissez-faire small town in Tennessee and proceeding by lengthy, sometimes disjointed flashbacks, In the Family is an acute object lesson in the vulnerability of gay parents who haven’t gotten around to spelling out the details of property inheritance or child care.
November 14, 2012
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