'Life Is Sweet' (1990)
British director Mike Leigh's breakthrough film in the States revolves around a middle-aged couple and their two twentysomething twin daughters — as well as the petty jealousies, buried secrets, and thicker-than-water bonds that color their every interaction. Sound familiar? Most importantly, Leigh and his actors make you feel as if these characters really are blood relations, right down to their shared in-jokes and the sense that, regardless of the age-old resentments and endless arguments, they genuinely have each others' backs. In terms of capturing the ups and downs of family dynamics, it could not be more deliciously bittersweet.