(2018) dir Laura Steinel w/Taylor Schilling, Bryn Vale, Kate McKinnon, Brian Tyree Henry [85 min; DCP]
Kate Stone (Taylor Schilling) is a workaholic. She hates kids. She is successful but unpopular at work. She hates most social situations because she doesn’t know what to do with her arms. And now she has been saddled with taking care of her awkward 12-year-old niece Maddie(Bryn Vale) – who she barely knows – just when a big proposal is due at work. Kate thinks this is as bad as her life can get – until Maddie runs away to become a Juggalo.
The premise of Laura Steinel’s debut film is familiar: closed-off character is forced to learn how to make connections with other people through awkward missteps and misunderstandings. But there are many surprises in the film thanks to a strong script, the performances of Taylor Schilling and newcomer Bryn Vale, and a stellar supporting cast – including Kate McKinnon playing an uptight, athleisure-wearing neighbor.
This terrific film celebrates everything that family means, from the complicated relationships you have with your blood relatives, to the family you choose who support you as you are, to the larger tribe that you belong to whether you know it or not.