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97 Ratings

The Family Fang

Directed by Jason Bateman
United States, 2014


A brother and sister return to their family home in search of their world famous parents who have disappeared.

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The Family Fang Directed by Jason Bateman
There’s an interesting reactionary quality in the way the movie makes conceptual art its straw man, standing in for Irresponsible Parenting By The Counterculture. I don’t know if the Revenge Of Gen X And Or Y subtext was very strong in Wilson’s novel, but here it flounders just like every other aspect of the movie, including the “what really happened” plot thread of Caleb and Camille’s disappearance shortly after they rudely reintroduce themselves into their children’s lives.
April 29, 2016
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Bateman’s visible attempts to elevate the story — elegant camerawork, Carter Burwell’s captivating score — give “The Family Fang” a compelling atmosphere that makes it difficult to categorize the events in play. Is this a movie designed to mess with your head or about the ethical gray zone of doing just that? Ambiguity is its best weapon, even if it’s wielded a tad too bluntly to succeed all the way.
April 28, 2016
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Mr. Bateman’s direction of the actors is especially sensitive in this and other tricky scenes, showing a delicacy with emotional textures that isn’t always matched by the story, especially when Annie and Baxter speak in therapeutic clichés. Thankfully, most of these spill out late after the story has jumped around in time, toggling between the present and flashbacks to Caleb and Camille’s happenings. Those scenes expose the dangers of their performances but also the thrill.
April 28, 2016
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