Sunday, February 03, 2013

Redbox Diaries #3: Your Sister's Sister

Your Sister's Sister is above-average example of a kind of character study that too easily gets lost in today's crowded film marketplace. After looking back at my review of writer/director Lynn Shelton's Humpday (which I liked better than I remembered) I can report with pleasure that Shelton seems to have taken a step forward here; she's after trickier emotions and embracing an alternative definition of family. Jack (Mark Duplass) is mourning his brother Tom and after a year doesn't seem to have made much progress. He is sent away by his best friend (and Tom's ex) Iris (Emily Blunt) for some recuperative time at a cabin located far away from reminders of better times. Your Sister's Sister makes full use of its Pacific Northwest locations; there's a beautiful sense of moodiness in the air and light that reminds me of the films of Kelley Reichardt. The presence of Iris's half-sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt) at the cabin is unexpected and sets the film in an entirely new direction. DeWitt is the best thing going on here, and while she's usually the character having to react to other people's nonsense (Mad Men, Rachel Getting Married) as Hannah she gets to create some nonsense of her own. Your Sister's Sister clocks in at 90 minutes and if anything this well-conceived and strongly acted film needs a bit more time. There's a revelation about Hannah's behavior that's glossed over too quickly and a developing attraction between Iris and Jack feels imposed rather that organic to the characters. Still, Shelton has a way with actors and a sense of how to write sadness that will serve her well in future films, and Your Sister's Sister is worth seeing thanks to good work by all involved.

No comments: