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Family Obligations

USA 2019
produced by
Brett Brandle, Shawna Brandle, Kenneth R. Frank, Chris Mollica for In the Garage Productions
directed by Kenneth R. Frank
starring Chris Mollica, Chandler Rosenthal, Frank Failla, Eleanor Brandle-Frank, Angelica Adams, Jerry Colpitts, Virginia Locke, C. Boyd Motley, Vinita Handa-Koller, Brian Silliman, Grace Chan, Peppa Brandle-Frank, Tucker Maloney (voice)
written by Kenneth R. Frank, music by Benjamin Morse

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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When Peter (Chris Mollica) learns his estranged father has died, he at first things it doesn't affect him terribly much - and since he inherits dad's house and can make a tidy profit selling it, there's even an upside, right? But then he gets a call that he's to drive his uncle Frank (Frank Failla) to cancer treatment, something that his father has taken upon himself so far. Now Peter hasn't seen his uncle in ages, but due to family ties he feels obliged to drive Frank anyways, and even endure his uncle's cynical remarks when doing so - all the while of course searching for an excuse to get out of the situation. Then though he meets Frank's neighbour, single mother Melanie (Chandler Rosenthal), whose situation is way more dire than his, but whose outlook's much more positive at the smae time. And taking a liking in her, Peter starts to see much more from her perspective, and starts to change his views on family which have so far been solely based on his relationship to his estranged father ...

 

A very nicely done drama that manages to get its tone spot-on to bring its message across: This is not a film of big feelings being played out in hyperboles but a film about gradual shifts in understanding, about emotional insecurities and possible solutions, rather than going the one-answer-fixes-everything route. And of course it helps that the characters are well fleshed out and they as well as the situations they're in are relatable, while the film is well-structured as to not lose the viewer's attention while the directorial effort is fittingly unexcited. And of course a strong cast doesn't hurt one bit either in making this really worth a look.

 

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Tales to Chill
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written by
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