Avuncular Movies

Movies about Uncles & Aunts

Movie uncles & aunts come in one flavor: they are single, eccentric and lovable in a loopy sort of way. Here are a few film uncles and aunts to prove this premise:

Fishing with Gandhi

If your head is clogged from too many slick formulaic Hollywood films, watch this movie, it is brain Drano. Gil and Roy are a none too bright set of hillbilly twins (played by James & Rick Reichmuth) who pick up Danno (Dan Klein), a pathetic stoner who is hitch hiking home from his mothers wedding. She married his Uncle Roy (which puts this solidly in our avuncular film category). These two "human speed bumps" make frequent stops to let their overheated pick up truck cool down. The dialogs that ensue are inane and priceless. Fishing with Gandhi is both a comedy and a safety film, as director Gabe Weisert clearly spells out the dangers of human inbreeding. Fishing with Gandhi is part of the First Rites series, which valiantly distributes the work of new directors. 73 minutes. Unrated. 1999.

Uncle Buck

John Candy's classic portrayal of he misunderstood cuddly uncle is a seasonal favorite on television. You've already seen it so we won't rehash it for you. Funny guy, wish he was still around.

Mon Oncle

This is basically Uncle Buck in French.

The Sleazy Uncle

Uncle BuckThe temptation is to say this is Uncle Buck in Italian, but it's not. Uncle Luca (Vittorio Gussman) prowls the movie theater groping girls in the dark. When he has a heart attack, he contacts his long lost successful nephew, Ricardo (Giancarlo Giannini) . He hits Ricardo up for 3 million lira to pay for a bypass operation. Uncle Luca then uses the money to throw a great party, which is more fun than an operation. There is a philosophical face off between the self indulgent poetic uncle and the level headed upper middle class nephew. You get to decide who won at the end. Directed by Franco Brusati. 104 minutes. Unrated. Italian w/subtitles.

Tatie Danielle

Tatie Danielle is not really an uncle movie, but there's nowhere else to list this lone "Auntie" film. Auntie Danielle (Etienne Chelton) is one conniving old bitch. After she kills her aged roommate, she moves in with her niece and her family. She subtly and not so subtly changes the behavior of the entire household to suit her whims. When the family goes on vacation and leaves her with a house sitter, Tatie Danielle really acts up. Some of her cruel finesse is lost in the translation, but this film will forever change how you perceive your older relations. French w/subtitles. 1991. Unrated. 110 minutes.

Crazy in Alabama

Antonio Banderas directs his wife, Melanie Griffiths, in this dual tale of Aunt Lucille and the civil rights movement in the early 60's . It seems Aunt Lucille poisoned her husband and cut off his head with an electric carving knife. She sticks him in a Tupperware cake tote and keeps him around for consolation. Taken from the Mark Childress novel, Melanie's southern accent is a trifle annoying, but hell, so is mine. 1999. Rated PG13. 88 minutes.

Arizona Dream

How would you like to have Jerry Lewis as your uncle? Okay, here's a quiz. What do Faye Dunaway, Jerry Lewis, Johnny Depp, and Lili Taylor have in common? The answer is "Not much", except they are all in this movie. Axel (Depp) is a fish expert working in NYC when he gets abducted back to Arizona by his cousin, Vincent Gallo. How they drive to Arizona in one evening is never explained, but they are going to Uncle Jerry Lewis' wedding to a 20 year old Polish beauty. Axel meets Dunaway at his uncle's car dealership and they have a quixotic courtship, while Lili Taylor accompanies them on the accordion. This is a very French film, filmed with an American cast under the Yugoslav director Emir Kusterica. There are various cuts floating around from 120 to 145 minutes long. Michael J. Pollard gives his best performance since Bonnie & Clyde. Rated R. English. 1993. Thanks to Charles for bring Arizona Dream to our attention.


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