The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)

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Persona
Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:16 pm

Re: The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)

#2 Post by Persona » Sat May 26, 2018 3:33 pm

if I didn't know this was Audiard, I would never, ever have guessed it.

looks more like one of Clooney's directorial efforts. maybe that's the shoddy trailer talking, though.

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Ribs
Joined: Fri Jun 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Re: The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)

#3 Post by Ribs » Sat May 26, 2018 4:12 pm

I've read that the French version of the trailer plays it a little more straight (haven't watched either, so just repeating what I've heard!)


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senseabove
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Re: The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)

#5 Post by senseabove » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:32 pm

I thought this was pretty mediocre, if I'm feeling generous... Reilly and Phoenix play exactly to type, and the movie rests on that without pushing them in any unusual directions. Ahmed and Gyllenhaal's story is moderately interesting, but they get short shrift so we can spend more time with Reilly and Phoenix being clumsy yet still somehow successful at not dying. The set-up is all leaps from scene to scene without any rhythm, the action scenes are illegible, and it never really strikes the tone of dark comedy it was aiming for. The only two memorable moments were
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the running toothbrush gag, excluding the scented breath sidebar and its aftermath, and the flash of a hint that Ahmed and Gyllenhaal have become more than business partners, which was probably only memorable for making it obviously available as an interpretation, not just something to be read into it.
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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)

#6 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Fri Oct 19, 2018 5:05 pm

I enjoyed this, an excellent western based on a novel so it's plotty, all to the good. Some of the shoot-em-ups were effectively filmed in the darkness of night, at a distance, eerie gun flashes, others up close and gruesome.

The four leads are outstanding but this is John C. Reilly's movie, he's sensitive and dissatisfied with the path his life has took, but at crunch time he's the man. The utopian philosophy, the celebration of friendship and family loyalty don't seem out of place for an action movie that strives toward the legendary. Then it turns sweet, and was that really Carol Kane as Maw?

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DarkImbecile
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Re: The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)

#7 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:21 pm

To my disappointment, like senseabove I found The Sisters Brothers to fall toward the low end of the 'fine but unexceptional' range. Almost everything enjoyable about the characters, plot details, and even some of the visual ideas are directly derived from Patrick deWitt's novel, while only the nighttime shootouts (especially the one that opens the film) struck me as added value from Audiard above and beyond genre conventions; too many of the other action sequences seemed uninspired, repetitive, and/or tonally confused. It's been a few years since I read it, but while the film's score, editing, and lead performances establish it as more of a dark comedy, the book felt elegiac and mournful, with the humor almost always of the tragic variety that less encourages you to laugh along than feel the painful absurdity of the situations and cycles the characters are trapped in and — occasionally — attempting to escape.

The film could have used some structural work as well: cutting a shootout or two and letting the talented cast do a little more to establish and grow their characters ahead of the point where the two sets of leads come together would have made the last act much more compelling. Though their characters are already inherently more likable and relatable than the titular siblings, it still seems like a bit of an upset that Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed gave far more interesting performances than Reilly and the largely one-note Phoenix, who unfortunately never gets a chance to do much of anything with the major pivot point in his arc:
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the loss of his arm and the sudden shift from seemingly unstoppable predator to vulnerable little brother that comes with it.
All that said, the source material is quite good, and Audiard's faithful adaptation leverages it more than enough to keep a viewer engaged throughout; maybe on a rewatch I would come to appreciate the realization of so many of the eccentricities and striking moments of deWitt's story for their own sake, but I couldn't separate my enjoyment of the components from the deflating realization that Audiard wasn't going to add much at all cinematically that might elevate a good Western narrative to the level of an excellent Western film.

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Brian C
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Re: The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)

#8 Post by Brian C » Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:00 pm

Generally a fan of Audiard, but I spent this whole movie thinking it was just about to go somewhere, but it never really did. At the same time, though, I don't have any clear ideas about why it didn't work for me. I didn't think the performances were all that compelling, but I differ from almost everyone here in thinking that none of Phoenix, Reilly, or (especially) Gyllenhaal are usually very good ... I don't want to be hot-takey about it, so I won't dwell on it, but nonetheless I think the casting left the film with a lot to overcome.

I wonder if Audiard was the right choice for this material. His films specialize in putting more or less ordinary people in bizarre and unexpectedly dangerous situations, so right off the bat, a film about nigh-invincible gunfighters seems like a questionable choice. The gunfights are staged rather disinterestedly and without urgency, as if it's ordained that these two were just going to shoot everyone anyway so why bother. The only scene that I thought really and truly worked was the coda, which was so unexpected and so at odds with the rest of the film, but meaningfully so.

So, oh well. I suppose there are worse things than a generally mediocre film that at least has the decency to nail the ending.

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Mr Sheldrake
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Re: The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard, 2018)

#9 Post by Mr Sheldrake » Tue Oct 30, 2018 8:01 am

I enjoyed an interesting subtext in the movie with the the Commodore representing the long murderous arm of capitalism, and Hermann offering an alternative utopian path, a way out. The brothers are dis-armed as much by this glimpse of fraternity as they are by greed, the excess of which kills the dream. Then capitalism must be destroyed to regain a semblance of humanity, perhaps it will miraculously die of its own sickness. All of which leads them to the tender, maternal healing aura of the homecoming (minus the abusive father, the progenitor of their sins).

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