Your Sister’s Sister

16 Nov

Director: Lynn Shelton

Writer: Lynn Shelton

Stars: Mark Duplass, Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt

Motion Picture Rating: 15

Runtime: 90 minutes

 

 

Iris has a half-sister Hannah that she loves and a best friend Jack that she adores. In fact her feelings for Jack run deeper, but it’s a complicated relationship as Iris used to date Jack’s departed brother (the death of whom Jack is still coming to terms with one year on). Inadvertently, Iris puts troubled Jack and newly single Hannah together in the family cottage out on a Seattle island. They are both there to get some quiet alone time, but that plan, as well as their respective celibacy, goes out the window after a serious tequila session.

This film was shot in less than 2 weeks and highly improvised. As a piece for just 3 actors, and with a single primary location, Lynn (“Humpday”) Shelton intentionally wrote and directed it in that theatrical way. The feeling of improvisation comes across nicely and whilst the direction is subtle the performances are strikingly good. It is an excellent ensemble piece and very astute in its observations on familial and sexual bonds. Iris, pitching up at the cottage the day after the tequila incident, has her feelings and composure sorely tested by her sister, her best friend and more so by their strange chemistry.

Mark Duplass is very good as the slightly dishevelled and mumbling Jack and Emily Blunt is as reliable as ever as Iris. It is, however, Rosemarie DeWitt as Hannah who really shines in this. There is something a little Diane Keaton about her unconventional beauty and ease in front of camera, but boy she can really act. Hers is the meatier role, but she attacks it with pure honesty and pushes the other 2 actors on to greater heights. Together they do tug at the heartstrings. For a film that starts a little self-indulgently it finishes up as a warm, smart and very enjoyable ride.

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