Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.
Original title: Les Soeurs Fachees
France, 2004. Pan Européenne, StudioCanal, France 2 Cinéma, Région Ile-de-France, Canal+, CinéCinéma. Screenplay by Alexandra Leclere. Cinematography by Michel Amathieu. Produced by Philippe Godeau. Music by Philippe Sarde. Production Design by Carlos Conti. Costume Design by Esther Walz. Film Editing by Herve de Luze, Jacqueline Mariani.
Friendly, vivacious Louise (Catherine Frot) visits Paris from the countryside to meet with a publisher interested in putting her first novel in print. She also takes the opportunity to reunite with her uptight, bourgeois sister (Isabelle Huppert) for the first time in three years. The two personalities clash almost from the very moment they are together, with Huppert being completely embarrassed by the delight her sister takes in everything she sees in the City of Lights, while Frot eventually comes to understand her sister’s disdain and is hurt deeply by it. Two outstanding performances in the leads and a wonderful script by first-time filmmaker Alexandra Leclere make for a highly captivating, in-depth examination at the world of quarreling siblings. While the tone is mostly light and fun, there are moments of intense gravity that don’t throw the film off balance but do plunge the audience further into the psyche of these two highly developed characters (the dinner scene towards the end is especially memorable).