A simple domestic dispute becomes an explosive examination of stress in this powerful and unsettling Romanian drama.
First and foremost, it should be clear that EVERYBODY IN OUR FAMILY is a film best experienced blind. Innovative, daring and about as original as film can get, the latest offering from the Romanian new wave is something that is better experienced and than read about. If you’re interest is piqued, stop reading and start watching.
The story is simple. Marius, a single dad in his thirties, travels to his ex-wife’s house to pick up his daughter, Sofia, for their annual beach holiday. Upon arrival, he is told by her grandmother and her step father that Sofia is sick and must stay at home with her mother. As Marius’ insistence grows, so do tensions in the household, pushing the situation to unimaginable heights.
Shot in almost real time, EVERYBODY IN OUR FAMILY shows how much can really change for someone over the course of one afternoon. Director Radu Jude’s hyperrealistic style helps to sets the stage for an intense discussion on family values. Drawing the most out of a plethora of incredible performances, he peppers the intensity with a dark and witty humor that resonates through the humanity of the film. As the action builds to a climax, Jude tries his best not to suffocate the audience, presenting the facts for a pure reaction. The result is often as humorous as it is horrific.
Breaking out of any mold that you could possibly put it in, EVERYBODY IN OUR FAMILY is not your typical Fantastic Fest fare. It is, however, simply too good and too unique to be ignored. (Michael Lerman)