At first glance, The Family Fang may seem as though actor-director Jason Bateman has made a feature length film of the recurring Arrested Development joke – in which a one-armed friend of his Dad’s continually traumatizes the Bluth children with elaborate practical jokes, designed to teach important life lessons. However, the movie is most definitely not that – as we can now see from the first trailer. What it is, is a moving comedy-drama about child-parental relationships, personal development, and the nature of art.
Based on the novel by Kevin Wilson, and adapted for the screen by David Lindsay-Abaire (Rabbit Hole), The Family Fang stars Bateman (who also directs) and Nicole Kidman as siblings, whose parents – played by Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett – are performance artists. Their insistence on including the children in their art has led to a highly complex and dysfunctional relationship, and now that the children have moved into adulthood, this is brought to the fore when a mystery begins to unfold.
The Family Fang premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, where our own Darren Ruecker awarded the film four stars. This trailer certainly supports that assessment, showcasing the work of a director who continues to develop his skills – building upon the flashes of greatness that peppered his 2014 debut, Bad Words.
With Jason Bateman – who got his start onscreen at the age of ten, in Little House On The Prairie – we appear to be seeing the exciting evolution of a filmmaker unafraid to mine his own emotional life while crafting his work, resulting in finished products filled with heartfelt themes, and moments that resonate at a perfect pitch. This trailer suggests that The Family Fang is a successful next step in that creative journey – balancing comedy and drama well to deliver a rewarding viewing experience.
The Family Fang gets a limited theatrical release on April 29th 2016, followed by wider distribution – and a VOD release – on May 6th 2016.
Source: The Playlist