Review: Sister

October 16, 2012, 8:02 am
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Establishing a setting - a vivid sense of location - is essential for any film to have a shot at creating a memorable connection with an audience. And when your project is blessed with topography the makers of IMAX films would kill for, you're already well ahead of the game. The Swiss Oscar hopeful Sister takes advantage of its breathtaking locale to unveil a raw and emotionally powerful tale of the bleakness of life in the shadows beneath the awe-inspiring Alps.

Swiping equipment from the ne'er-do-wells at the ski resort looming over his circa 1970s concrete apartment tower below, 12-year-old Simon (a terrific Kacey Mottet Klein) supports his lazy-as-all-get-out sister Louise (a strong Lea Seydoux) with his fire sale of stolen skis, goggles, and gloves. While Louise is off cavorting with random men, Simon is making his daily gondola trek up the mountain, mingling with richies like Gillian Anderson, keeping supply high for his booming black market business.

Complications inevitably ensue with Simon's scheme but it's nothing compared to what the kid has to deal with back at his depressing homestead. Director Ursula Meier reveals a whopper of a twist that packs the impact of a piledriver performed on top of a folding table. The move delivers one of the most emotional scenes of 2012; any parent will be straining to contain the tears.

Without entirely spoiling things, let's just say Sister should be required viewing for the cast of Teen Mom. The stark reality of the struggles that lie ahead may be of use for them.

Final Cut Score: 91%

Follow Erick on Twitter: @ErickWeber

It was many moons ago in a darkened theater that my love of cinema took root as I snuck in to see my first R-rated film, Blade Runner. The futuristic vision that Ridley Scott unleashed on the screen was simply soul-expanding — spiritual even. From that moment, my mission to have that kind of magic strike again began in earnest. My hope is to be able to shine a light on films that may just have that kind of effect on you — films that may be lesser known, but not lesser in impact. 
- Erick Weber

Final Cut Scoring System
99-95% Opening night
94-90% Opening weekend
89-86% In theaters
85-83% On Demand
82-80% Netflix/Redbox
79-75% If desperate
74-70% If dozing off
69-65% If intoxicated
64-60% If comatose
Below 60% If brain dead

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