Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Feast of the Seven Fishes - Movie Review

The Movie: Feast of the Seven Fishes

The Director: Robert Tinnell

The Cast: Skyler Gisondo, Madison Iseman, Josh Helman, Addison Timlin, Ray Abruzzo, Andrew
Schulz, David Kallaway, Lynn Cohen, Joe Pantoliano, Paul Ben-Victor

The Story: In a Rust Belt town on the Monongahela River on Christmas Eve, 1983, a nice, working-class boy brings an affluent, Ivy League girl to his family’s raucous traditional Italian seafood feast, setting off a chain reaction of romantic, comedic and cultural conflicts.

The Review:
Holy jingle bells, this movie was such a fun surprise and one of the better holiday movies I have seen in a while. Director Robert Tinnell adapts this story beautifully from a graphic novel and genuinely captures the spirit and attitude of what an Italian family Christmas might be like. The story is set in the 1980's and has all the appropriate looks, styles, textures, and fashions of the time period firmly in place. At it's core, the movie is a comedy yet it also deftly deals with some heavier topics like mental health, depression, relationships, race, and cultural traditions and is all the better because it isn't afraid to go there.

Before this movie, Skyler Gisondo was most recently seen in Booksmart, Olivia Wilde's brilliantly hilarious high school comedy that you need to see if you haven't already. If you have seen it then go watch it again, you know you want to. It's that good. Anyway, what was I saying. Oh yeah, Gizondo takes center stage in this movie as Tony, a teenager struggling to keep his life on track while getting pulled in every direction imaginable by family, friends, and an ex girlfriend, played by Addison Timlin. Meanwhile, Tony's family is making preparations for the annual Christmas dinner which mostly involves various family members trying to do as little as possible while drinking as much as possible.

The beauty of this story comes from how richly authentic the family is with great performances across the board from Joe Pantoliano, Paul Ben-Victor, Lynn Cohen, and so many more. Tinnell's story telling abilities keeps you as the viewer firmly planted right in the middle of all the chaos and festivities as the family argues with each other, loves one another, and spends time together during the madness of the holiday season. The food on display in the movie also looks fantastic and, from what I understand, the graphic novel has an accompanying cookbook with all of the various dishes featured in the story.

The Verdict:
Feast of the Seven Fishes is the type of holiday movie you want to watch over and over again because it's so much fun and so relatable. We've all had those moments and emotions during family gatherings during the holidays and every single one of them is on full display so open a bottle or two, grab some food, then sit back and watch your newest holiday tradition unfold.

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