An all-star cast brings Stephen Karam’s Tony Award-winning play to the screen in this richly layered drama about a family gathered for a fraught Thanksgiving dinner.
Providing an incisive, empathetic microcosm of the fractured American family, this chamber drama takes place almost entirely within the cramped, dimly lit confines of the bi-level Chinatown apartment shared by 20-something Brigid Blake (Beanie Feldstein) and her boyfriend Richard (Steven Yeun). Before they’ve even had a chance to unpack, the couple hosts Thanksgiving for Brigid’s Pennsylvanian relatives: parents Erik (Richard Jenkins) and Deirdre (Jayne Houdyshell), older sister Aimee (Amy Schumer), and dementia-afflicted grandmother (June Squibb). At first the Blakes do their best to put on happy faces despite their differences, but as the night progresses and the wine flows, the cracks in the family’s closeness begin to show: from petty grievances to more urgent, potentially devastating admissions. With his feature directorial debut, Karam translates the devastating emotional precision of the play into a kind of cinematic ghost story with eerie, atmospheric sound design and distinctive camerawork courtesy of cinematographer Lol Crawley. Each character is beautifully brought to life by the film’s remarkable cast, including Schumer playing against-type to heartbreaking effect and theater veteran Houdyshell reprising her Tony-winning role with humor and devastating poignance.
CAST: Steven Yeun, Beanie Feldstein, Amy Schumer, Richard Jenkins
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