Family dramas walk a difficult line: Too serious and they can drive away audiences who are looking for an escape from reality, too schmaltzy and they risk not being taken seriously enough. So debut screenwriter/director Elizabeth Chomko (Terriers) has her work cut out for her in What They Had, an upcoming drama that sees far-flung family members coming home to care for the ailing matriarch who is slowly losing her battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Audiences got a chance to see the film during its Sundance premiere earlier this year, but thanks to the film’s first trailer, now everyone can get a look.
What They Had looks like it’s going to hit a lot of people right in the feels. There’s a daughter who’s traveled far from home, leaving her brother to deal with their aging parents and his own personal struggles. The patriarch, meanwhile, has to face the reality that the love of his life is losing her health and her grip on reality. Once the family comes together, all of their long-held conflicts, and ultimately their love for each other, come bubbling to the surface. If the trailer itself already has you emotional, you might want to pack some tissues before seeing this one in theaters.
Starring Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner, Robert Forster, Taissa Farmiga, and Josh Lucas, Bleecker Street’s release of What They Had arrives in theaters on October 12th.
Watch the first trailer for What They Had below:
Here’s the official synopsis for What They Had, followed by a new image and the film’s poster:
From first-time writer/director Elizabeth Chomko, WHAT THEY HAD centers on a family in crisis. Bridget (Hilary Swank) returns home to Chicago at her brother’s (Michael Shannon) urging to deal with her ailing mother (Blythe Danner) and her father’s (Robert Forster) reluctance to let go of their life together. In theaters this October.