[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Breathe In opens today in limited release.]
The family drama genre is one that’s very easy to get wrong, and it’s rare to find a film of this kind that is genuinely moving without feeling overly manipulative or sappy. Writer/director Drake Doremus took the Sundance Film Festival by storm in 2011 with his young love drama Like Crazy, and he returns in 2013 with an intimate take on the family drama genre that marks a major step forward for the filmmaker. In chronicling the story of a foreign exchange student who causes a deep and devastating rift in a close-knit upstate New York family, Doremus’ Breathe In completely wraps the viewer up in the emotions of its characters and doesn’t let go for 98 captivating, intense, and ultimately heartbreaking minutes.