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The Family

 

 
Overview
 

Actors: Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, Tommy Lee Jones, Dianna Agron, John D'Leo
 
Director: Luc Besson
 
Length: 112 minutes
 
Release Date: September 13, 2013
 
Genre: , , ,
 
Rated:
 
Author Rating
 
 
 
 
 
3.5/5


User Rating
no ratings yet

 

Positives


  • Solid, well made movie

Negatives


  • Predictable
  • Odd tone.


Bottom Line

There’s no easy way to say this. I have split personalities. Just one more than this one. My name is Dave my split is named Dick and he happens to be a better chess player than me. As well as better at other things. I mentioned this because when we watched the movie The Family […]

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Posted September 19, 2013 by

 
Full Article
 
 

There’s no easy way to say this. I have split personalities. Just one more than this one. My name is Dave my split is named Dick and he happens to be a better chess player than me. As well as better at other things. I mentioned this because when we watched the movie The Family we talked about it with each other, and it seemed like we watched two different movies. With that said let’s talk about the movie, The Family.

credit: Relativity Media

credit: Relativity Media

Let’s start with my thoughts first.

Dave’s side:

I thought this was a pretty by the numbers mobster drama. It starts several years after Giovanni Maznoni ratted out his fellow mobsters and went into witness protection with his family. The family tries to assimilate to their newest home in Normandy, but have trouble fighting what they have learned from their former lives. Giovanni’s story revolves around the kind of life he wants to live. He lies about being a writer to his neighbors, but the idea of writing out his life story excites him. So he actually does it. During a weak moment around the end of the movie Giovanni reveals that his father abused him as a child and that’s the source of his rage and killer instinct. In a scene with his daughter it can be alluded that Giovanni ratted out his colleagues because he fears becoming like his father, but by the end of the movie it becomes clear that there is nothing Giovanni wouldn’t do to keep his family safe. His wife Maggie is a religious woman who fears for the salvation of her family. She wants to save them from their sins but can only turn to the lord for aid. She confesses their sins to a priest and in a later scene is chased out of a church by the priest. Rejected by God she realizes that even if God has forsaken them she can not give up on her family. Their daughter Belle is a beautiful young girl who wants love to free her from her life. She’s chases after a younger teacher at her new school and eventually gives him her virginity (possibly), but he ends up rejecting her for his career. This spirals her out of control and in an attempt to kill herself she sees the danger looming toward her family. She realizes that she has to protect them and that her life matters to someone and decides to live for her family. In an encounter with one of the hit man, who once had close ties to the family, it is implied that she was molested by him which could be the source of her insecurity. And lastly there’s Warren, the son. Warren wants to become like his father but it’s clear that he doesn’t really understand what that means. He gets the crime angle of the whole life, but he doesn’t really understand the killer aspect. After running schemes in his school he gets busted because he left too many loose ends that ratted him out and decides that he’s bringing trouble on his family. He decides to run away but sees the oncoming attack to his family at the train station and decides that he has to go back to defend them. In a gunfight he kills a hit man and there’s a moment of hesitation which could mean Warren finally understands the life he’s trying to live and may shy away from it. The movie essentially involves the family pushing away from each other, but by the end of the movie the family learns that they can count on each other, and their relationship is worth holding on too. The movie is pretty dark, there’s an attempted rape at the end, murders throughout the whole thing, and a lot of implied rape and murder.

credit: Relativity Media

credit: Relativity Media

Dick’s side:

I found The Family to be a pretty by the numbers mobster comedy. Giovanni Maznoni (the most Italian name I’ve ever heard) rats out his mob buddies and goes into witness protection. The movie is basically him and his Family . . . the Family . . . trying to assimilate to their home in Normandy. The problem with the movie is that there’s just one joke. That these wise guys don’t fit in so well with normal folk. Giovanni’s story is that the pipes are shooting out brown water. So most people would look into it and try to fix it with words. But Giovanni met these people with a baseball bat until they told him what he needed to do to fix it. He then blows up a fertilizer silo of some kind which fixes the problem. Maggie also hurts a bunch of people too. On her first day she blows up a super market for not having peanut butter and being rude. She threatens one woman when she tries and steal from her and bribes the FBI agents for information on her neighbors using food. The daughter Belle has a bit of a psycho streak. Which is oddly arousing. When these guys get creepy on her she beats the shit out of one of them and steals their car. She beats up a girl who stole her pencil case and handles herself really well in the gunfight at the end. Warren, the son, is an excellent little schemer. My type of guy. It’s fun to watch him gather info and get revenge on a bully. He plays the game really well, and that’s kind of the joke. The FBI agents themselves are pretty boiler plate too. The agent in charge, Stansfield, is the no nonsense guy, and the other two a rather simple and kind of dumb. It was nice that they weren’t so dumb that it left you wondering how they got into the FBI in the first place. The movie progresses exactly how you would expect. They move to town, hilarity ensues, mobsters find them, hit squad comes to town, shoot out, the family walks away to a new home. The joke isn’t bad and sometimes it works but for the most part it’s pretty one tone and predictable.

credit: Relativity Media

credit: Relativity Media

Combined consensus:

This movie was weird.

It was really weird man.

It was hard to get into because the tone was all over the place.

Yeah it would be like funny but then sad and back and forth.

Which is fine.

Yeah it’s fine. Every story has comedy, action and romance in it, well every good one anyway, but they usually don’t conflict like in this movie.

Oh my god yeah Maggie goes from blowing shit up to saying that she and Jesus are the only ones that can save her family. Belle is super fragile but super tough. One minute Warren knows exactly what he’s doing the next he’s completely out of his element. I mean pick a side.

Well it’s only annoying because there’s no progression from one to the other. They just shift back and forth. I mean you could argue that these guys are just complex people.

I guess, but for some reason it was hard to get into.

I didn’t hate it though.

Yeah it was fine just very predictable.

Way too predictable. I would say that’s its main issue.

We have agreed!!

credit: Relativity Media

credit: Relativity Media

I’m comparing this movie to a swinging pendulum . Because all you can do under it is watch it swing back and forth until it does exactly what it was designed to do. Cut your head off. Thanks for reading.


Dick75

 
I'm like a jaguar that taught itself how to read . . . hauntingly mysterious.


  • Jeff Ben

    good article