‘Nuclear Family’ Review: An Indie Director Explodes Public Opinion of Her Family From the Inside-Out

The controversy has blown over by now (or has it?), but back when “Toy Story 4” came out, a certain contingent of the moviegoing public went nuclear when they discovered that Pixar had included a lesbian couple in the background of two scenes.

Appearing briefly in Bonnie’s pre-school class, the women had no lines, but it was clear from the way one affectionately put her hand on the other’s shoulder that these were not your normal movie moms.Then again, what is “normal” when it comes to families? That’s a question director Ry Russo-Young raises from personal experience in HBO’s “Nuclear Family.” The filmmaker — who broke out at festivals such as SXSW and Sundance with such identity-examining indies as “Orphans” and “Before I Fall” — was raised by a lesbian couple and later found herself the subject of a precedent-setting legal battle, when the sperm donor sued her moms for paternity rights.

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