Movies Seen This Week: The Yellow Handkerchief (2008) , Bernie (2012), The Graduate (1967), Life of Pi (2012), Your Sister’s Sister (2012), The Tempest (2010).
This week, I saw myself leaning towards the movies of 2012. As the year draws to a close, I’m pushing myself to see as many of the year’s picks as I can, in order to form a truly, unbiased opinion of the films as a whole. Now after seeing Bernie, I can argue that Jack Black gave a career best performance and one that will undoubtedly get panned by the Academy. After seeing Life of Pi, it’s safe to say that Ang Lee’s momentous spectacle of a project may be cinema’s greatest technological and emotional achievement this year.
However, you’ve already read the reviews for Life of Pi; it’s been out for two weeks already, so it’s Lynn Shelton’s Your Sisters Sister that I’m urging everyone to see this week.
Well, what’s it about?:
Your Sister’s Sister follows Jack (Mark Duplass), a man in his late twenties who’s recently lost his brother and is still reeling in the aftermath. His best friend, Iris (Emily Blunt), sends him away to her family cabin to allow him some peace and quiet in order to get his thoughts together and to give him a chance to breathe. However, upon arrival, he learns that Iris’s sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), has taken camp there as well, after the end of her seven year relationship with her girlfriend.
Both individuals are sad; both are lonely, and a bottle of tequila later, they sleep together.
The next day Iris shows up, surprising them both, and spring boards the three into self-discovery, deception, and love, and none of it is done with clichés, tropes or insincerity.
Okay but why should I watch it? :
First off, let’s all give Mark Duplass a round of applause for the amazing year he’s having. First, Jeff Who Lives at Home, which he co-directed, a great little indie film; then Safety Not Guaranteed, one of the most underappreciated films of the year, in which he gives a vulnerable, heartwarming performance. And now this, another genuinely moving character in an underrated film.
I’m sensing a theme.
Rosemarie DeWitt, who you may also know from her other sister roles in movies such as Rachel Getting Married and Showtime’s late United States of Tara, gives a nuanced, blessedly subtle and beautiful performance. DeWitt is a horrendously underutilized actress. She shares a wonderful, warm rapport with Blunt’s Iris, plays off Duplass dry and bumbling delivery; she elevates any scene she’s in.
However, the testament to this film is the dynamic shown between two sisters. Sure, the film’s about Jack’s plight, about so much more than just Iris and Hannah, but it’s their bond and the way in which the movie portrays the bond that gives the film its heart. Lynn Shelton has written a script that accurately portrays the loving yet often times tumultuous relationship that sisters deal with. Siblings know each other’s humiliations and insecurities but don’t allow such pettiness to detract from their affection.
Beautifully shot, written and performed, this film is an unseen gem that deserves more recognition.
Who should watch it? :
Fans of the rarely seen sister relationships onscreen or maybe anyone who’s looking for a sweet independent drama to fill the void as big blockbusters begin to over-populate the theaters. It’s a rare indie film that doesn’t falter in pace and manages to keep the interest going for its full ninety minutes.
You should watch it if you’re also a fan of the three actors because all are wonderful and all deserve more movies in their filmography.