“You gonna be the person you decide to be or you gonna be the person everyone else tells you you are? ‘Cause you get to choose.” – Uncle Frank
There are those movies that really stick with you. The movies that leave a lasting impression on you. The movies that touch you beyond belief. Do you have a movie like that that comes to mind for you? Well, after watching director Alan Ball’s brilliant film, Uncle Frank, you sure will. A touching story about finding and accepting yourself, Uncle Frank is an emotionally-rendering, powerful and heartfelt film that is worthy of all the praise.
The movie follows Frank Bledsoe, aka Uncle Frank, (played by Paul Bettany), a professor at the prestigious New York University. Frank harbors a secret from his family living in South Carolina – he’s a gay man and has been living with his longtime partner Walid “Wally” Nadeem (portrayed by Peter Macdissi). To begin with, Frank has always been treated like an outcast from his family, specifically his father (played by Stephen Root), so he does what he can to continue to keep his secret to himself as he prepares to go back and visit his rural Southern hometown for his father’s funeral. Frank does have one person he shares his secret with – his beloved and accepting niece Beth (portrayed by Sophia Lillis) who admires him and finds herself in NYU as well after taking the advice her Uncle Frank gave her years prior to always be herself. The journey back to South Carolina is a long one – with some bumps along the way, including when Frank notices Walid following him and his niece when he was told not to come to the funeral.
Throughout this trip, we see Frank encounter the trauma from his past, and ultimately decide whether he is ‘gonna be the person he decides to be or the person everyone tells him to be.’
Combining the indescribable talents of director Alan Ball and the stupendous cast consisting of Bettany, Lillis, Macdissi, Root, Judy Greer, Lois Smith, Margo Martindale and Steve Zahn was one of the greatest things to come to the big screen. The phenomenal acting skills of all of the cast-members brought the story to life in such a raw and authentic way. Bettany portrays his character magnificently and is able to convey the deep emotions his character undergoes in such a moving performance. Without even saying a word, Bettany’s acting through facial expressions and body language tells this story with great impact. Lillis truly excels in any and every project that she takes on – it’s clear to see why she is an incredibly successful, in-demand actress and she portrayed her character with such an easily lovable essence. And of course, the great Peter Macdissi – the movie truly wouldn’t be the same without him. Although set in the 1970’s, the topics addressed and lessons learned from this film is still incredibly relevant, especially in this day and age.
Amazon Studios hosted a special drive-in premiere for Uncle Frank on November 20, 2020 at the stunning Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California. Guests at the event were treated to a unique screening of the film from the comfort of their own car, while safely following COVID-19 protocols. Attendees were able to enjoy a mouth-watering dinner consisting of ahi tuna poke nachos, short rib tacos, a gourmet cheese plate and cheesecake with their choice of beverage. A wonderful movie night isn’t complete without some popcorn, which was included in the event’s amazing swag bag that also consisted of a cozy Uncle Frank hoodie.
Alexisjoyvipaccess had the honor of attending the VIP drive-in premiere for Uncle Frank and this movie truly is a gem that needs to be seen by everyone. Uncle Frank will bring tears to your eyes and it teaches us all so much about ourselves and the importance of accepting and embracing who we are.
Watch the official trailer for Uncle Frank here. Uncle Frank premieres on Amazon on November 25th – perfectly in time to add to your movie marathon this Thanksgiving!