patrick wang's in the family opening at quad cinema, november 4

Heads up, New York moviegoers. This Friday marks the theatrical premiere of the indie family drama In The Family, running November 4-10 at Quad Cinema.

Produced, written, directed by and starring first-time filmmaker Patrick Wang, this is one of the most stunning feature debuts I've seen in years. In The Family is the kind of film I step out of and can't wait to tell people about. First, take a look at the trailer:

Set in the town on Martin, Tennessee, the film tells the story of a regular happy family -- six-year-old Chip, and his two dads Cody and Joey -- whose everyday existence is shattered when Cody dies suddenly in a car accident. Joey finds his family unraveling when Chip is taken away from him in a custody battle with Cody's family. Armed with the comfort of his friends and inspired by memories of Cody, Joey finds a path to peace with the family and closer to his son.

On paper, it seems like In The Family has a lot going against it. It's a gay family drama set in the South, from a first-time director, starring no one you've ever heard of, clocking in at a running time of nearly three hours. These are not traits that set the box office on fire. But I implore you to give it a chance.

I watch a lot of films that fall under the umbrella of Asian American cinema, and to be honest, it's a rare occasion when I find myself truly surprised. In The Family is one of those experiences. I felt like I was discovering a story that hadn't been told before, from a really interesting new voice in filmmaking.

Perhaps In The Family could have used another pass in the editing room. It almost has no business being this long. But somehow it works. Completely confident in its storytelling, with restrained, realistic performances and unapologetic aesthetic choices, it's a compelling narrative with a lot of heart.

If you're in New York, get yourself to Quad Cinema this weekend. For more information about In The Family, go to the movie's website here. And here's the San Diego Asian Film Festival's interview with writer/director/producer/star Patrick Wang: Interview with Patrick Wang, director of the film IN THE FAMILY.

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