Watch Family Viewing
- 1 hr 26 min
Family Viewing is a 1987 Canadian drama film directed by Atom Egoyan. The film follows a family that is falling apart; Stan, the son, who is in his early twenties, fears for his sanity as he tries to come to terms with his family's troubled past, particularly his father's behaviour. Stan's father, Jim, is a philandering businessman who is more interested in his mistress than his family. Meanwhile, Stan's mother, Aline, is a television producer who has a complicated relationship with both men in her life.
The story is complicated and it requires the viewers to pay close attention to the details to understand the character's feelings and intentions. Atom Egoyan is known for crafting impactful dramas that touch on deep emotional issues, and Family Viewing does not disappoint.
The movie begins with Stan, who has been estranged from his family for a few years, visiting his grandmother, Armen, in a nursing home. Armen is the only person who has any interest in Stan; she values him and wants to know how he's doing. Meanwhile, Stan's father, Jim, is preparing to marry his current girlfriend, who is twenty-five years younger than him.
Throughout the film, we learn about the family's past through various flashbacks. It becomes clear that Aline has never been able to communicate with Stan, which has led to a strained relationship between the two. Meanwhile, Jim is seen as being manipulative and cold, exploiting his family for his own gain.
As Stan tries to reconnect with his family, he becomes increasingly more isolated and paranoid, convinced that his father is hiding something from him. At the same time, Aline is working on an experimental TV show that she hopes will help her come to terms with her past.
The characters are complex and flawed, and that's what makes the story so engaging. There are no easy solutions to the family's problems, and as the film goes on, it becomes clear that everyone is suffering, even Jim, who is more of a villain than a victim.
Atom Egoyan's direction is impeccable here; he has a knack for drawing out the best performances from his actors. David Hemblen is particularly good as Jim, displaying just enough charm and sleaze to make him both repulsive and intriguing. Aiden Tierney gives an emotionally subtle performance as Stan, conveying his character's inner turmoil without overplaying it. Meanwhile, Gabrielle Rose is excellent as Aline, a character who is desperate for love and validation.
The movie's themes revolve around communication, trust, and family, and all of these are explored with rigour and sensitivity. It's a movie that doesn't give easy answers, but it rewards those who are willing to delve deeper into the characters' emotions.
The film is shot on a shoestring budget, but that doesn't detract from its impact. Egoyan uses a lot of close-ups and long takes to create an intimate atmosphere, forcing the viewer to become emotionally invested in the story. The movie's sound design is also noteworthy, with frequent use of ambient sounds and music to create a sense of unease.
In summary, Family Viewing is a poignant and thoughtful family drama that explores deep emotional themes with grace and nuance. It's a movie that will stay with you long after the closing credits have rolled.
Family Viewing is a 1987 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 26 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.7.