FILM ARCHIVES

Sister

by

Hustling is a profession for the pint-size in Sister, a Dardenne-lite drama about a 12-year-old boy’s efforts to support himself and his older sister by stealing gear from patrons of a Swiss ski resort. A delinquent kleptomaniac entrepreneur who peddles hot skis, gloves, and masks to kids and adults alike with the wheeler-dealer confidence and caginess of an old pro, Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein) toils for the love of sibling Louise (Léa Seydoux), a hot mess who others assume is a whore and who can’t hold a job or resist hooking up with her abusive boyfriend. Writer/director Ursula Meier uses a stripped-down, naturalistic aesthetic full of well-organized compositions that pay close attention to shifts in character mood, comportment, and behavior. Her eerily silent soundscape—punctuated by a score that alternates between lullaby portentousness and electro-fuzz energy—adds to a mood of lost souls trying to maintain balance on a dangerous precipice. A midpoint revelation hits hard even though it’s subtly telegraphed beforehand by a look of piercing desperation from Simon to a skiing mother (Gillian Anderson), and leads to a conclusion of tumultuous disarray (and tentative, qualified hope) that makes clear that resentment and anger only breed more of the same—and, worse still, solitude. (Nick Schager)

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 3, 2012

Archive Highlights