LIFELINES, writer-producer-director Rob Margolies’ debut feature bristles with smart dialogue, complex characters, and heart wrenching performances. Set against the backdrop of suburban utopia, the Bernstein family leads a dysfunctional existence. With three foul-mouthed kids (Robbie Sublett, Dreama Walker, and Jacob Kogan), a caffeine-addict mother (Jane Adams) on the brink, and a less than forthcoming father (Josh Pais), they suffer an atmosphere so heavy with collective hostility and tension it seems as if the floral-papered walls will come crashing down at any minute. Forced to the breaking point, they concede to a family therapy session, where it quickly becomes clear that what’s wrong is “about a lot more than dry turkey.” Repressed anger and antagonism give way to moments of self-revelation, as a patient and compassionate Dr. Livingston (Joe Morton) draws out demons and dark secrets, allowing the family to begin accepting their own humanity. Brutally hilarious, warmly intimate, always honest, LIFELINES is an impressively fresh take on the family drama. The late film critic Roger Ebert declared it “a fine, strong film!”.