Les frères Sisters [The Sisters Brothers] (2018)

The Sisters Brothers
Director: Jacques Audiard
Writer: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain
Based on: Patrick deWitt‘s novel
Cast: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, Rebecca Root, Allison Tolman, Rutger Hauer, Carol Kane
Seen on: 25.3.2019

Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix) and Eli Sisters (John C. Reilly) are hitmen and their newest task is to kill prospector Hermann Warm (Riz Ahmed) who stole from their employer The Commodore (Rutger Hauer). Tracking Warm is private investigator John Morris (Jake Gyllenhaal) who is supposed to hand Warm over to the Sisters brothers. But when Morris starts doubting Warm’s guilt, he teams up with him instead. Meanwhile the Sisters brothers are plagued by bad luck, Charlie’s drinking and Eli’s misgivings about their profession.

I’m not much of a Western fan (a few exceptions notwithstanding), but time and again I get roped into them. In this case, it was the cast that drew me. But the film still didn’t work for me – that’s a resounding meh from my part.

The film poster showing Eli (John C. Reilly) and Charlie Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix) in close-up.

The film is touted as a dark comedy, and I honestly don’t understand it. A couple of jokes don’t make a comedy and overall the film is not funny at all. Maybe I would have liked it better if it was, I don’t know.

I am absolutely sure, though, that I would have enjoyed it a lot more if it had been all about Warm and Morris. Not just because Gyllenhaal and Ahmed gave us perfect romance energy, but simply because they are the much more interesting characters compared to the Sisters Brothers.

Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix) and Eli Sisters (John C. Reilly) on horseback, studying a map.

But the film isn’t called Sisters Brothers for nothing – it is entirely focused on them. And they were not only rather stereotypical and not particularly interesting, I just didn’t care whether they had a happy end or not. Or rather, I didn’t want them to have a happy end, no thank you.

The film is beautifully shot and the cast is very good, I will give it that. But that just wasn’t enough to make the film work for me. Not by far.

Charlie (Joaquin Phoenix) and Eli Sisters (John C. Reilly) on horseback in front of a waggon caravan.

Summarizing: oh well. Maybe Western fans will enjoy it.

2 thoughts on “Les frères Sisters [The Sisters Brothers] (2018)

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