Skip to content

The Sisters Brothers

“From all over the planet they came . . . tore themselves from warm hearths and good homes, promising to return; they fled from cold hearts and bad debts, never to return . . . [t]hey were the pillars of their communities, and their communities’ dregs[.]”

[H.W. Brands]

Lost in the penumbras of a chosen genre, the latest from Jacques Audiard finds him, like his characters, in an unexplored region searching for treasure and purpose. As Adam Graham (Detroit News) correctly pointed out, a film that “feels like a journey in search of a destination” — a “misguided mess” with mild-mannered humor and discursive dialogue that flounders in intellectual deftness far too long for serious audiences to appreciate.

Sisters Brothers is based on a novel of the same name by Patrick deWitt that depicts two (poorly casted) brothers on a mission during the 1851 California Gold Rush to retrieve a chemical formula from Riz Ahmed (sporting a $50 haircut) that helps illuminate gold in river beds in an effort to cut down on the hard labor involved in mining. The Brothers lose the track, regain the track, find the purse, find the product, and in the process, inadvertently have a mishap that feels like a ridiculous ploy to end the film in under the two-hour mark. A lot of gun fire, sure, but the entire cast for some reason feels like a West World episode where the guests are lost in an antiquated land searching for meaning and surviving the elements one gunfight at a time. Certain scenes carry inexplicable utility (e.g. the spider) that the audience will have to deduce meaning from since it otherwise served none (e.g. antidote to chemicals?).

Despite what Cary Darling (Houston Chronicle) said, I am a very patient movie watcher who prefers the long-treks to develop a solid script and I found little to appreciate aside from the few choice scenes of scenery from the film and the amputation, which the film desperately needed, having found itself on life-support for well over an hour at that point. Anyone who knows Audiard’s A Prophet will see glimmers of his old self in some of the violence, but not enough to leave an impression that validates the enthusiasm of American critics (although average score is at a C- despite overall % at 85).

While David Sims (The Atlantic) is mostly wrong about how “special” the film “feels,” he does point to one moment where the movie had potential had the writers indulged it further.

Warm [i.e. Ahmed] is an optimist, possessed of an egalitarian vision of the frontier’s future, where things like his formula can be used to advance the greater good and create more progressive communities. It’s an aspect of the Wild West that’s usually underdiscussed: the notion that a radically open-minded society, not just more bloodshed, could spring out of lawlessness.

gold rush

Audiard steps into the American speaking world and makes a film deserving of the current Hollywood reputation bent on manufacturing forgettable films with poor scripts. To quote Patrick deWitt: “Luck was something you either earned or invented through strength of character. You had to come by it honestly; you could not trick or bluff your way into it.”

In Sisters Brothers, I’m calling Audiard’s bluff.

RATING: C

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow us on Instagram

Incontrovertible evidence that the #Emmys are a joke.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 📑 | SOURCE: @indiewire⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #drama #action #horror #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #indiefilms #studio #boxoffice #pop #popstar #entertainment #filmhistory #HBO #gameofthrones #theemmys #television
“As the nation (and the world) prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, space fans can pre-game with documentaries that relive the nail-biting mission, explore the wonders of space exploration, and honor the people who made (and continue to make) the giant leap for mankind.⁣⁣” ⁣ As for me, I’m finally watching “High Life” - now with Amazon Prime for $2.99.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #drama #action #horror #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #indiefilms #studio #pop #popstar #entertainment #filmhistory #apollo #apollo11 #nasa #space #primeday #explore #aliens
⁣It’s just one scene of many that deftly layer story, sensation, make-believe and enigma. Some are funny, some matter-of-fact, some philosophical, and some simply magical: puppets fleetingly formed by tissue paper, a snow of sheet music, McDermott lying comatose beside an unplayed piano as the stage rotates like a turning world.⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ 📑 | SOURCE: @guardian⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ #film #films #movie #movies #cinema #hollywood #entertainment #celebrity #celebrities #cinephile #filmnews #drama #action #horror #filmcritic #oldhollywood #newhollywood #indies #indiefilms #studio #boxoffice #pop #popstar #entertainment #filmhistory #strangerthings #philipglass
Wong Kar-Wai 王家衛 is quickly becoming one of my favorite foreign directors. #FallenAngels
%d bloggers like this: