From the New York Times:
“Fanny, Annie & Danny” may be an unpleasant story about unpleasant characters, but the acting is fabulous. Under Chris Brown’s direction, an ensemble cast of unknowns works the reunited-for-Christmas-dinner theme beautifully, which is to say, repugnantly.
Colette Keen is the nightmarish matriarch, Edie, who terrorizes her husband, Ronnie (George Killingsworth). Of her three adult children, she appears to love only Danny (Jonathan Leveck), the family success story, who isn’t really a success at all. She clashes with her daughter Annie (Carlye Pollack), probably because she is a younger version of herself.
But the center of the film is the third child, Fanny, hauntingly played by Jill Pixley. Fanny, who has mild intellectual disabilities, lives in a group home — though that berth is in jeopardy because she obsessively plays a recorder at all hours. She holds a job at a candy factory, but she is also a social outcast, even in her own family. Her mother actively hates her, as does Annie.
All three children are arriving for dinner carrying personal burdens, and Mr. Brown, who also wrote the script, works the resulting tensions nicely until the very end, where he settles for what seems like a cop-out. Characters this nicely etched deserve a more complete conclusion.
“Fanny, Annie & Danny” has been designated as a Critics’ Pick.