The Sisters Brothers review round-up: Jacques Audiard’s Western is ‘an all-American delight’, ‘a hangout movie on horseback’
Jacques Audiard's dark Western The Sisters Brothers, starring Joaquin Phoenix and John C Reilly, is a film generating strong Oscar buzz
Jacques Audiard's dark Western The Sisters Brothers, starring Joaquin Phoenix and John C Reilly, is another one of those films generating strong Oscar buzz. In the first English-language film by Jacques Audiard, the French director of Dheepan, Rust and Bone and A Prophet, Phoenix and Reilly play brothers who have a contract to kill a gold prospector being tracked by Jake Gyllenhaal’s John, a more cerebral bounty hunter who does not have what it takes to finish the job himself.
The film recently premiered at both Venice Film Festival and TIFF 2018 to positive reception. The critics too have been showering it with praise.
Here's what they have been saying:
Los Angeles Times (Justin Chang): "Audiard plays to his past strengths as a poet of wounded masculinity; in its most touching moments, The Sisters Brothers is like a hangout movie on horseback."
The Atlantic (David Sims): "The story is grim and violent, but the brothers’ relationship is shot through with ramshackle humor, and the men they’re ultimately tasked with pursuing are portrayed as loving and idealistic—an utter rarity for this kind of story."
The Wrap (Alonso Duralde): “The Sisters Brothers gallops on screen with a lot of ambitions, and it fulfills them all. It’s a sprawling Western that’s also an intimate character piece; it has moments of wit but also devastating tragedy; it delves into larger themes like the impact of fathers upon sons, and how greed and industrialization lead to environmental devastation, and yet it offers the hope of redemption."
The Hollywood Reporter (Todd McCarthy): "This first English-language outing by the ever-adventurous French director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet, Rust and Bone) is a connoisseur’s delight, as it's boisterously acted and detailed down to its last bit of shirt stitching."
Rolling Stone (Peter Travers): "Audiard recently won the Silver Lion as Best Director at the Venice Film Festival. Watch The Sisters Brothers and you’ll have no trouble understanding why."
The Guardian (Peter Bradshaw): "The English-language debut from the French director is an all-American delight, starring Joaquin Phoenix and John C Reilly perfect as sad, squabbling siblings."
The AV Club (AA Dowd): "It’s something of a hangout Western, too, and its pleasures mostly come down to the company we get to keep with the characters and the actors easing into their eccentricities."
Entertainment Weekly (Leah Greenblatt): "The Sisters Brothers is the kind of old-fashioned, quintessentially American story they used to call a picaresque: A dusty, squint-eyed Western ramble full of wry cowboy humor and sudden death. It’s also almost impossible to believe it wasn’t made by another set of siblings: the Coen Brothers."
Vanity Fair (K Austin Collins): "The film is rich with male feelings and even manages to have a sense of humor about its own sadness. Phoenix is fine here—his usual loose cannon—as is Gyllenhaal, whose educated snob routine doesn’t overplay its hand an inch. Though I’m tempted to launch a federal investigation into his mutt of an accent. But it’s Reilly who really carries the movie."
Variety (Owen Gleiberman): “The Sisters Brothers is too light to be a true drama and too heavy to be a comedy. It’s that timeless movie thing, a lark, and on that level it works just fine."
Watch the trailer here:
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