Watching these films just might make you feel better about your own family. If your personal clan happens to be gathered for the viewings, you could observe their moments of discomfort throughout. It might even be more entertaining than football on Thanksgiving. A very honorable mention goes to Thomas Vinterberg’s The Celebration, which has previously been recommended.
Careful (1993) is directed by Guy Maddin. Noted for his homages to the early traditions of film by using black and white, Maddin was coaxed by his producer on this outing to create his first color feature. Of course, being Guy Maddin, he chose the antiquated two-strip technicolor process to create one of his all-time greatest achievements in Careful. It’s the story of a mother and her sons struggling for contentment in the face of a sorrowful past and and a difficult present.
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) is directed by Woody Allen. Three sisters face their own problems, as well as each other’s. Hannah and Her Sisters is provocative and very funny, and it easily passes all three criteria of the Bechdel Test. It’s one of Woody Allen’s masterpieces, and truly must be seen.
Grey Gardens (1976) is directed by the brothers Albert & David Maysles. The famed documentary duo captures the Beales, a mother and daughter who live together in a decrepit New England estate. Their glory days are past, but notions of grandeur still live on in their daily perceptions.
Happiness (1998) is directed by Todd Solondz. Possibly the darkest of dark comedies, Happiness is painfully unyielding. A family with three sisters must confront the forces that affect their lives. Brace yourself for one of the most infamous independent films of the 1990s. Beyond its reputation lies originality and excellent storytelling.