‘Fam-I-Ly’ World Premiere at SXSW – reviews and reactions

‘Fam-I-Ly’ World Premiere at SXSW – reviews and reactions


We Live Entertainment

Writer/ director Laura Steinel gives a powerful and hilariously heartfelt first feature. The casting could not have been more perfect. I never knew that Taylor Schilling could be so funny. The script is funny but gets to the heart of a family, whether biological or otherwise. The lines of dialogue are both quick-witted and hysterical.

Laura Steinel, after this first feature, is destined to make more great films. Her writing is spectacular on every level, and she treats her characters with love, and they come across genuine. She has a voice and a sense of humor that shines through the script and announces that female writers and filmmakers are the future of comedy. Taylor Schilling gives her finest performance to date alongside the fantastic performance by a young actress, Bryn Vale. Family is hilariously funny reminding us that it is okay just to be yourself.

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The Moveable Fest

[…] But the film belongs to Schilling, who attacks Kate with a constantly surprising wild-eyed gusto that makes her eventual appearance at an Insane Clown Posse feel just right. In bringing together a variety of tones and ideas that one wouldn’t necessarily think would go together, she and Steinel make a beautiful film about creating the community around you and living by your own definition of success, though by any measure, “Family” is nothing short of a complete delight.

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Laura Steinel’s amiable debut is carried by Schilling’s manic performance.

It’s all endearing enough, carried along by Schilling’s investment in a role that makes you wonder why she hasn’t carried a major studio rom-com yet (the delay is even more extreme when you consider that it’s been three years after she appeared in the sex comedy “The Overnight” and five years after the first season of “Orange is the New Black”)

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The Hollywood Reporter

A self-improvement-through-childcare comedy exposing the hitherto unknown potential of the Insane Clown Posse to enable young girls’ emotional growth, Laura Steinel’s Family introduces an 11-year-old girl ready to run off and join the Juggalos. Playing the career-minded jerk stuck temporarily with caring for the kid, Taylor Schilling colors within the lines of the Bad Fill-in-the-Blank misbehavior genre, with a performance that is less debauched than self-centered to the point of criminal negligence. Enjoyable despite its familiarity, the pic has commercial appeal well beyond the Faygo-guzzling demographic.

Mini-interviews with real-life Juggalos over the closing credits cements the film’s obvious message:  When the world treats you poorly, Family is wherever you find it.

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Did I neglect to mention that the movie includes lots and lots of Juggalos? Yes, the true highlight of the entire film is watching Schilling, in full face paint, on stage with the Insane Clown Posse at the Gathering of the Juggalos. It’s one of the most unexpected and amusing plot points I’ve seen at the festival this year.

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We’ll update the post with more reviews soon!

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