Alan Ball‘s “somewhat autobiographically inspired Uncle Frank (Amazon, 11.26) hits a…successful balance between ensemble seriocomedy, Big Issues and a somewhat pressure-cooked plot. Set in the early ’70s, it casts the reliably deft Paul Bettany as a gay man forced to confront the Southern family to whom he’s stayed closeted. Even at its most manipulative, Uncle Frank remains polished and engaging. A big plus is Paul Bettany, who makes the title character’s residual Southern courtliness, acquired urbanity and painful psychological scars keenly felt.” — from Dennis Harvey’s 1.25.20 Variety review.
One look at Bettany tells you his character probably isn’t straight — the slender frame, the moustache, the extra-precise cut of his sports jacket, the way he holds his cigarette and touches his sternum during solemn discussions. His extended South Carolina-residing family senses something different about him, but they don’t spot the specifics. Or would rather not.