A movie as great as it’s small
It cost 2000 times as much to make The Dark Knight Rises as to make Your Sister’s Sister. 2000. This is a bigger number than I can grasp, so I had to recheck the calculation a few times before I started to trust myself. 125 000 dollars compared to 250 000 000. Yep, that makes a difference of 2000:1.
I know it’s unfair and irrelevant, since they are two completely different types of movies, but the thought doesn’t ask for permission but pops up in my head anyway. I liked TDKR a lot. But I didn’t like it 2000 times more than I liked Your Sister’s Sister. Give me a year and I bet it will be the small movie that stays clear in my memory, while the large one has melted down and mixed into the soup that contains every blockbuster superhero movie I’ve seen until this day.
A very small movie
Your Sister’s Sister is a small movie in every way you can think of.
Apart from a short scene in the beginning, there are only three actors in it. They don’t do anything fancy. All they do is to sit down in a cabin in the woods talking for a few days. At the most they take a stroll in the surrounding or a trip on a bike. That’s how dramatic it gets.
There are no special effects whatsoever. There isn’t even a script, not in the normal sense. The conversation that takes place is so relaxed, so natural that I can’t believe that it’s anything but improvised. And maybe that’s one of the reasons why it kept me so hooked. I felt it as if I was watching real people, people I wanted to know more about, people I could care about, since they weren’t doing yet another take on something we’ve seen in hundreds of other movies before.
I won’t go too far into the story, not wanting to spoil anything. But I can tell you as much as that it’s about three people in their 30: s: Jack, his best friend Iris and her older sister Hannah.
Devastated after the death of his brother Jack goes to a cabin belonging to her family to spend a few days in solitude, trying to get back on track. As he arrives it turns out that Hannah also is there. The two of them start to bond over a bottle of tequila. But as we all know, booze can have the effect on you that things go a bit awkward. Eventually Iris turns up at the cabin. And the rest of the movie is about this awkwardness and about the lies, half-lies and truths that lie between the three of them until everything finally is revealed, since you can’t hide things forever, not locked up with your best friend and your sister in a small cabin.
I won’t say that much more about it, more than that I urge you to watch it if you like me have a sweet spot for indie, impro style movies. It’s equally funny and gripping, simply a wonderful little piece of drama.
I think I’m starting to develop a crush on the director Lynn Shelton and the actor Mark Duplass. Previously this year I gushed over another of another movie they made together, Humpday. Fortunately I’m not the only one to fall for those. They’ve both appeared for interviews in the Filmspotting podcast and if you watch this film I would recommend you to listen to it. You’ll find it here.
Your Sister’s Sister (Lynn Shelton, US, 2012) My rating: 4/5