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The Burns ('Pieces of April')
Why: Estranged from her family, city-dwelling "alterna-chick" April (Katie Holmes) invites her highly-dysfunctional brood over to her apartment for Thanksgiving dinner - though preparing for the big meal proves harder than she imagined. The core of the dysfunction is witnessed during the family's long car ride into the city, during which April's black-sheep status is revealed through the brutal recriminations of cancer-stricken mother Joy (Patricia Clarkson) and terminally-uptight sister Beth (Alison Pill).
Most dysfunctional moment: Joy suffers an emotional meltdown, jumps out of the car and begins running down the highway after realizing she doesn't have one good memory of April, who tellingly wears lots of black eyeliner.
- Chris Eggertsen