The Automatic Hate | Chicago Reader
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The Automatic Hate

A shocking family secret lies at the center of this quirky mystery (2015), but there’s also a continual sense of unease, as strong before the big reveal as after. A Boston chef (Joseph Cross) receives a visit from a cousin he never knew existed (Adelaide Clemens) and later meets her father (Ricky Jay), mother, and two sisters living on a farm in upstate New York. Their mercurial, hippie-ish lifestyle is a welcome relief from his parents’ icy, academic world—his father (Richard Schiff), a developmental psychologist, turns up his nose at his son’s career and would rather pretend he doesn’t have a brother than divulge the reasons for their split. Meanwhile, the son feels unnaturally drawn to the ethereally beautiful cousin who found him. Writer-director Justin Lerner and cowriter Katharine O’Brien use silence as much as careful dialogue to spin a hypnotic narrative from difficult subject matter.

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