After an unlikely accident, a pair of grown siblings (Nicole Kidman and director-star Jason Bateman) are compelled to move back in with their eccentric parents (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett), situationist artists/professional practical jokers whose lifetime of public interventions have alienated their children.
The Family Fang
The line between real life and art can sometimes get blurry. To the Fangs, a married couple renowned for their semi-improvised public interventions, that line is nearly invisible. The Family Fang, Jason Bateman's sophomore feature, is a fascinating, funny, and resonant study of what it means to grow up in a family for whom everything is performance.
Annie (Nicole Kidman) and Baxter (Bateman) have spent most of their adult lives trying to get as far as possible from their parents, Caleb (Christopher Walken) and Camille Fang (Maryann Plunkett). The elder Fangs have attracted both kudos and controversy for their provocative, socially disruptive body of work, which, over the past forty-five years, has involved everything from faux bank robberies to staged incidents of child-busker harassment.
When journalist Baxter sustains a head injury in a potato-cannon mishap, he winds up involuntarily in his parents' care. Annie comes to rescue him — and also to confront Mr. and Mrs. Fang once and for all about the madness of their vocation — but the siblings are thrown for a loop when Caleb and Camille suddenly go missing and foul play is suspected. Is their disappearance a genuine cause for alarm or just another situationist prank?
Based on Kevin Wilson's bestselling novel, The Family Fang asks how far is too far when it comes to shaking people up. Galvanized by complex, charismatic performances, the film uses an extraordinary family dynamic as a means of addressing the problems of ordinary families everywhere.
Winter Garden Theatre
Visa Screening Room (Elgin)