My Film Notes: The Sisters Brothers (2018) directed by Jacques Audiard

FR-ES-RO-BE-US / 121 min / Color / Annapurna, Page 114, Why Not Productions, Michael De Luca Productions. Dir: Jacques Audiard Pro:Pascal Caucheteux, Gregoire Sorlat, Michel Merkt, Megan Ellison, Michael De Luca, Alison Dickey, John C. Reilly Scr: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, based on the novel by Patrick deWitt Cin: Benoit Debie Mus: Alexandre Desplat Cast: John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, Jake Gyllenhaal, Riz Ahmed, Rutger Hauer Synopsis: Based on Canadian author Patrick deWitt’s award-winning novel, The Sisters Brothers tells the knockabout story of two notorious assassins, Eli and Charlie Sisters (John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix). Grizzled, cynical, and not inclined to take prisoners, the Sisters brothers navigate, with brutal efficiency and a modicum of luck, the wilds of the American Far West at the height of the Gold Rush in 1851, when quick thinking and an even quicker draw are the requisite means of survival. Contracted by Oregon City crime boss The Commodore (Rutger Hauer) to kill Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed), a prospector he claims has betrayed him, the brothers encounter myriad complications on their eventful ride down to San Francisco and through the Sierra Nevada: witches, bears, a madam who owns a town and commands a murderous army of fur trappers, and a detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) tracking the same peculiar man they are. (Source: TIFF) Release dates: 2 September 2018 (Venice International Film Festival); 4 September 2018 (Deauville Film Festival); 9 September 2018 (Toronto International Film Festival); 19 September 2018 (France); 19 October 2018 (USA); 5 April 2019 (UK); 10 May 2019 (Spain) Spanish title: Los hermanos Sisters IMDb Rating: 7.0.

MV5BOTZmNTI1MzMtMGY0ZS00YTRlLWI4OTktYzE3YzZjZjJkNDVlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjM4NTM5NDY@._V1_SY1000_SX675_AL_The Sisters Brothers is a 2018 western dark comedy directed by Jacques Audiard from a screenplay he co-wrote with Thomas Bidegain, based on the novel of the same name by Patrick deWitt. An American and French co-production, it is Audiard’s first work in the English language. The film stars John C. Reilly (who also produced) and Joaquin Phoenix as the notorious assassin brothers Eli and Charlie Sisters, and follows the duo as they chase after two men (Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed) who have banded together to search for gold. The film had its world premiere at the  on September 2, 2018, where it won the Silver Lion for Best Direction, and was theatrically released in the United States on September 21, 2018. The Sisters Brothers received positive reviews from critics, with most praise going to its performances (particularly those of Reilly and Phoenix), characters, direction and soundtrack. (Source Wikipedia)

About the Filmmaker: Jacques Audiard, (born April 30, 1952, Paris, France), French film director and screenwriter whose crime films have been acclaimed for their scripts and strong lead performances. He is the son of noted screenwriter Michel Audiard, who is best known for his screenplays for crime films, particularly director Henri Verneuil’s Mélodie en sous-sol (1963; Any Number Can Win) and Claude Miller’s Garde à vue (1981). Audiard studied literature at the Sorbonne but left before completing his degree. He entered the film industry as an assistant editor on several movies in the late 1970s, including Roman Polanski’s Le Locataire (1976; The Tenant). He switched to screenwriting with the spy thriller Le Professionel (1981; The Professional). Audiard’s first film as a director was Regard les hommes tomber (1994; See How They Fall), which wove together two separate story lines—one about a man (played by Jean Yanne) searching for the killer of his friend and the other concerning the actions of the murderers (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Mathieu Kassovitz) before the crime. Audiard also cowrote the screenplay, as he would for many of his subsequent movies. Audiard won the César Award (the French equivalent of the Academy Award) for best first film, the first of many Césars to come his way. His next film, Un Héros très discret (1996; A Self-Made Hero), is about a salesman (Kassovitz) who, after the end of World War II, concocts a new identity as a hero in the French Resistance. Sur mes lèvres (Read My Lips, 2001) centres on the relationship between a deaf, lip-reading secretary (Emanuelle Devos) and an ex-convict (Vincent Cassel), each of whom relies on the other’s abilities. Audiard remade American director James Toback’s film Fingers (1978) as De battre mon coeur s’est arrêté (2005; The Beat That My Heart Skipped). Actor Romain Duris won acclaim for his performance as a young man torn between following either his father (Niels Arestrup) into the shady fringes of the real-estate business or his dead mother as a concert pianist. Audiard’s 2009 film Un Prophète (A Prophet) is a gangster drama about a young Arab convict (Tahar Rahim) who falls in with the leader (Arestrup) of a Corsican prison gang. The story of the young man’s rise under the gangster’s tutelage led many critics to compare Un Prophète favourably with classics of the genre, particularly Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972). Un Prophète was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign-language film and for 13 César Awards. Audiard subsequently directed the gritty love story De rouille et d’os (2012; Rust and Bone), which starred Marion Cotillard as an orca trainer struggling to recover from the loss of her legs in a gruesome occupational accident. Dheepan (2015), which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival, tells the story of a former Tamil Tiger who immigrates to France. In 2018 Audiard helmed Les Frères Sisters (The Sisters Brothers), a crime comedy set in the American West during the 1850s. (Source: Britannica)

My take: I know that for some time I have not published anything on cinema, maybe because I have not seen any film that made me interested in. But right now there are a few films on the billboard in Madrid that have renewed my interest. The Sisters Brothers is one of them. Besides I don’t hide my passion for Westerns. So without further ado, just wanted to tell you that this week Begoña and I went to see The Sisters Brothers mainly thanks to very positive reviews by the press. And I have to say that it has not disappointed me in the least. The film is more than a western, it is an excellent character study with an excellent performance by John C. Reilly on the role of Eli Sisters, very well accompanied by the rest of the actors. The story is nicely shot and every thing in the film works fine. An excellent entertainment. Regarding the plot, suffice is to say that the action unfolds in 1851 during the Gold Rush and it tells the story of a chase. Two assassins, the Sisters Brothers, are hired by an extremely powerful character, called The Commodore, to find a man, a chemist by trade, who claims to be in possession of a divine formula to find gold, under the pretext that he’s been betrayed. A simple story narrated with much effectiveness and talent.

Official Website

‘The Sisters Brothers’ Review at Hollywood Reporter

Interview: Jacques Audiard on the Making of The Sisters Brothers

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