When I reviewed the movie “Sister” at the Denver Film Festival in 2012 for OffToTheFilms, I was asked to modify my original review as I was too blunt for their site. So, now I’ve decided to post my original review for anyone who wants to see it. To see what was posted on OffToTheFilms you can click here.
Sister Falls Flat
Sister is a story about a 12 year old boy who steals from the rich tourists at a high end ski resort in order to keep a roof over his and his sister’s head, and food on the table. This dramatic story line screams with potential, but eventually falls flat. The only scene in the whole movie that has a spark of intensity is the relationship twist, and even that is left flat and incomplete.
This sad story line redundantly drags out with little progression. There are some well formatted artistic shots in this film, however the over use of this technique only stalls the progression of the film’s story that much more without adding much to the overall effect of the film. Some of these scenes confuse the message at times with an underlying incestual vibe to them.
The acting is well done, although the dialog is sparse in many areas. Even though the majority of the dialog is written in French, the subtitles are easily followed. The intensely dramatic characters in this deeply emotional film are not fully fleshed out in a way that truly grips the viewer’s heart. As sympathetic as the viewer may feel for the plight of the main character, the use of dramatic photography in place of gripping dialog misses the mark.
The story never hits a climax and simply continues on in a repetitive motion. If “Groundhog Day” had a poor, mistreated cousin this might be it. Although, the repetitiveness of this film is not through repeating the same day over and over, each day in this film seems to have the same theme, go up the mountain, lie and steal from the rich, get caught, and go back down the mountain with a few variations. Sadly though, unlike the main character in “Groundhog Day”, the main character in this film doesn’t seem to catch on, although we will never know with the incomplete, unsatisfying conclusion of the movie. The viewer is left feeling like they just wasted an hour and 37 minutes that they will never get back with no actual sense of closure as this film just stops. I give this film 2 stars out of 5, and it only gets that because of the acting.
Is it really necessary to remake a movie like “Steel Magnolias”? This is a movie that has been seen by almost everyone. It is an award winning classic that won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress and the People’s Choice Award for Favorite Drama Movie. When a movie is an award winning classic such as this, is it worth the expense of remaking it? Remaking a movie that is already as successful and popular as Steel Magnolias seems redundant and unnecessary.
As much as I adore Queen Latifah and have enjoyed watching her in movies such as “Last Holiday” and “The Secret Life of Bees”, I have a very difficult time picturing her in the same role as Sally Fields in Steel Magnolias, and placing a little known actress such as Condola Rashad to play the role of Shelby that Julia Roberts has already perfected just seems silly. The publicists are calling it a “Fresh spin” on the movie because it has been remade with an African-American cast. This so called “Fresh spin” on a classic seems to me to be a waste of money and lack of creativity on the part of the remake creators. Granted the new version has some quality actors such as Phylicia Rashad and Queen Latifah, but the cast cannot compare to Sally Field, Julia Roberts, Shirley MacLaine, Dolly Parton, and Olivia Dukakis that made up the previous cast and those are just the women. If you add in the male actors of Tom Skerritt, Sam Shepard and Dylan McDermott, how can a remake compete?
When remaking a movie of this caliber and popularity it is impossible for the viewing public not to make a direct comparison between the movie they love and the remake. With that said, it is difficult to understand why anyone felt that this movie needed to be remade simply due to skin color. “Steel Magnolias” is a movie about a family’s struggles and loss that transcended skin color and touches all those who watch it because of the depth of the story which is losing a child. That is a story line that skin color has nothing to do with. Every parent can relate to how they would feel if they lost their child. Now, there will always be the conversation of which did you like better, the black version or the white version, which takes away from the true meaning of the movie itself.
The new remade version of “Steel Magnolias” is scheduled to air as a made for TV movie on October 7,2012, on Lifetime. Click the hyper link above to see the movie trailer.