Dysfunctional Families

Perhaps because it's something nearly all of us can relate to (apart from The Bradys), messed-up families have always been a popular subject for filmmakers in all genres. Whether you're playing it for laughs ('Arrested Development', 'Go For Zucker'), drama ('Kramer vs Kramer', 'Nil By Mouth'), or thrills ('The Quiet Family', 'Olivier, Olivier') the family dynamic is a deep well of ready-made love/hate relationships, seething resentments and hidden secrets. What more could a filmmaker, or a film-watcher, ask for!

Pieces of April (2003)

Director: Peter Hedges
Starring: Katie Holmes, Patricia Clarkson, Derek Luke, Oliver Platt, Sean Hayes

This intelligent and touching independent comedy stars Katie Holmes as a young woman who attempts to reconcile with her dysfunctional family by making... Read more

Dead Ringers (1988)

Director: David Cronenberg
Starring: Jeremy Irons, Genevieve Bujold, Heidi Von Palleske

David Cronenberg does it again in this psychological horror film starring Jeremy Irons as a pair of disturbed, identical twin gynaecologists. A techni... Read more

In the Bedroom (2001)

Director: Todd Field
Starring: Sissy Spacek, Tom Wilkinson, Nick Stahl, Marisa Tomei

Powerhouse family drama from debuting director Todd Field is set in a small town in Maine where Sissy Spacek, a music teacher and physician husband To... Read more

Tideland (2005)

Director: Terry Gilliam
Starring: Jodelle Ferland, Jeff Bridges, Janet McTeer, Brendan Fletcher, Jennifer Tilly, D...

Terry Gilliam's macabre and surreal fairytale centres on young Jeliza-Rose, the neglected daughter of a couple of strung-out drug addicts (Jeff Bridge... Read more

Volver (2006)

Director: Pedro Almodovar
Starring: Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Blanca Portillo, Yohana Cobo, Chus Lam...

Pedro Almodovar's 16th feature film stars Penelope Cruz as a hard-working janitor, supporting a daughter and a layabout husband in Madrid. Her own mo... Read more

The Squid and the Whale (2005)

Director: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Jesse Eisenberg, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, Anna P...

Writer/director Noah Baumbach's semi-autobiographical tale of a disintegrating family set in 1980s Brooklyn is full of melancholy wit and sympathetic... Read more

The Death of Stalin (2018)

Director: Armando Iannucci
Starring: Dermot Crowley, Jason Isaacs, Jeffrey Tambor, Karl Johnson, Michael Palin, Steve...

When tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin dies in 1953, his parasitic cronies square off in a frantic power struggle to become the next Soviet leader. Am... Read more

The Ice Storm (1997)

Director: Ang Lee
Starring: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Henry Czerny, Adam Hann-Byrd, Tobey M...

Acclaimed director Ang Lee ("The Wedding Banquet", "Sense and Sensibility") turns his camera on American domesticity in 1973. This adaptation of Rick... Read more

My Life as a Zucchini (Ma vie de Courgette) (2016)

Director: Claude Barras
Starring: Ellen Page, Will Forte, Nick Offerman

After his mothers sudden death, Zucchini is befriended by a police officer, Raymond, who accompanies him to his new foster home, filled with other or... Read more

Abigail's Party (1977)

Director: Mike Leigh
Starring: Alison Steadman, Tim Stern, Janine Duvitski

Mike Leigh delivers in grand fashion with this acerbic social commentary. Beverly (Alison Steadman) is a gin-sodden shrew with middle-class aspiration... Read more