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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking Tale of Love and Selfishness.
`Sister' or `L'enfant d'en haut' to give it its proper title is one of those amazing films that quite often pass us by. It is essentially the story of Simon played by an amazing little actor Kacey Mottet Klein. He lives with the `sister' of the title or rather he exists with her. She is what we used to call a flibbertigibbet or moreover a woman who like men a lot -...
Published 17 months ago by Tommy Dooley

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3.0 out of 5 stars For the actors, not the plot
This is a really slow-moving film, almost turgid, saved by two fine actors, the little boy and his sister. They are really tremendous, but the film isn't.
The main problem is the central theme...poverty side by side with conspicuous wealth...hasn't had the budget thrown at it to make its point. Driving along in Switzerland outside the main cities, you see the ugly...
Published 5 months ago by froggydatjive


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking Tale of Love and Selfishness., 29 Mar 2013
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Sister [DVD] (DVD)
`Sister' or `L'enfant d'en haut' to give it its proper title is one of those amazing films that quite often pass us by. It is essentially the story of Simon played by an amazing little actor Kacey Mottet Klein. He lives with the `sister' of the title or rather he exists with her. She is what we used to call a flibbertigibbet or moreover a woman who like men a lot - probably too much. This means she finds it hard to hold down a job and a man. When she gets in the mood she just disappears and leaves the young boy to his own devices.

Simon has thus devised his own ways of getting by and as this is based in a Swiss skiing resort he makes a living by stealing from the tourists and selling to the kids at school, or the local workers or anyone with a few Euros to spare. He is thus the provider. We also have a side story involving one of the local cooks, Mike played by Martin Compston (`Donkeys' and `Soulboy'). The two of them live in some crummy tower block which is surrounded by open space, so why build such a horrible thing?

This is from director Ursula Meier who is also a writer and actress, and she has made a simple yet extremely compelling film. The young lead is heartbreakingly good as is his selfish `sister' played with a right balance of guilt and extreme self interest by Lea Seydoux (`Inglorious Basterds' and Robin Hood'). This is in French with a fair smattering of English, good sub titles and last for 97 minutes. It does have one of those endings that make you want to know more; so some may find it less rewarding because of that. However, with all good to great films it is the journey as much as the destination that matters and if you use those criteria this is really well above being just `good'. I was absolutely taken with it and was giving it five stars but because of the issue I mentioned above I am going with the four, I can however still highly recommend this fine piece of film making.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Atmospheric, somewhat sociological and affective...", 8 May 2013
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This review is from: Sister [DVD] (DVD)
French-Swiss screenwriter, actress and director Ursula Meier`s second feature film which she co-wrote with Swiss sociologist, author and screenwriter Antoine Jaccoud and French author and screenwriter Gilles Taurand, is inspired by an idea from the director. It premiered In competition at the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival in 2012, was shot on location in Switzerland and is a France-Switzerland co-production which was produced by producers Denys Freyd and Ruth Waldburger. It tells the story about a 12-year-old boy named Simon who lives in an apartment block in an industrial area nearby a ski resort in Switzerland with his older sister named Louise. As his sister spends most of her time with her various boyfriends, Simon innately thinks that it`s his responsibility to support them so he frequently finds his way to the ski resort up in the mountains where he steals equipment and sells it to the tourists.

Distinctly and precisely directed by French-Swiss filmmaker Ursula Meier, this quietly paced fictional tale which is narrated mostly from the two main characters` viewpoints, draws a humane and heart-wrenching portrayal of a somewhat uncommon relationship between two siblings. While notable for its naturalistic and surreal milieu depictions, fine cinematography by cinematographer Agnès Godard, costume design by costume designer Anna Van Brée and excellent choice of location, this character-driven story about a boy who meets and Englishman and who breaks moral rules in desperation, for the sake of achieving affection from the person he cares the most for and to make that person happy, depicts two interrelated and heartrending studies of character where two human beings who are marred by their backgrounds does what their hearts and minds tells them to do and contains an efficient score by composer John Parish.

This conversational, political, at times humorous, non-moralizing and tangible though imaginary psychological drama about interpersonal relations, communication and human conditions which is set in the Swiss Alps during a skiing season and where a child who keeps on going up to a place where people are living a lifestyle that is far away from his and keeps on coming back down to his reality where things are not quite as sunny, has taken on the role as provider due to the situation he and the only person he has is in, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, subtle continuity, good dialog, emotional substance and the prominent and commendable acting performances by child actor Kacey Mottet Klein and French actress Léa Seydoux. An atmospheric, somewhat sociological and affective love-story which gained, among numerous other awards, a Silver Bear Special Award at the 62nd Berlin Film Festival in 2012.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tearjerker, 10 Dec 2013
This review is from: Sister [DVD] (DVD)
I rarely get emotional about films , one that had me wrecked was Stationspiraten , also set in Switzerland. This is the second. Simon is believable , strong but vulnerable and an absolute top class characterisation. His sister is just as believable , so much so I think ( but only think ) I must know her somehow, also vulnerable and also strong but in a very disturbing way.
A must for any serious foreign film collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sister/mother, 1 Dec 2012
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The second feature by the same director with Kacey Mottet Klein. He was great in HOME but even better here. I think we'll see much more of him. Since you can usually expect new issues to have subtitles for hard of hearing and I can cope with that I got it as soon as I could but if you need English subtitles look out for it in 2013 under the title SISTER.
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5.0 out of 5 stars L'enfant D'en Haut, 22 Aug 2014
I happened upon this film whilst hopping channels during a bout of jet lag whilst in China, it was 1.00am in the morning and on a French channel, I had missed probably the first 20 minutes but was transfixed thereafter. I thought the two lead actors were incredible, I had mixed feelings of sadness and anger at the hopeless situation they found themselves in but was impressed by Simon's ingenuity at obtaining money to keep him and his sister under a roof. This is such a watchable film and cannot recommend it enough...love it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars For the actors, not the plot, 31 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Sister [DVD] (DVD)
This is a really slow-moving film, almost turgid, saved by two fine actors, the little boy and his sister. They are really tremendous, but the film isn't.
The main problem is the central theme...poverty side by side with conspicuous wealth...hasn't had the budget thrown at it to make its point. Driving along in Switzerland outside the main cities, you see the ugly apartment blocks like the one where the boy and his sister live everywhere. It isn't poverty, it's just Swiss aesthetics. Likewise, the ski resorts in Switzerland are incredibly opulent and sophisticated and well-heeled, with glorious hotels, restaurants and cafes. This resort just had a rather grotty transport cafe at the top of the cable car station. It was utterly unrealistic and looked almost as down-at-heel as the apartment block where they lived. I am sure it is difficult to film at a real ski resort...you would have to compensate all the hoteliers and so on, but this attempt was particularly feeble.
As for the speed of plot, I soon got fed up with yet another boring set of skis being stolen. I am sure if you are mad keen on ski makes, then the range on offer must be very exciting, but I found it daft.
I did believe in the little boy but I'm not sure the sociological points of the film were made sufficiently rigorously or interestingly.
It's not a terrible film...but you wouldn't want to keep the dvd and watch it again.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment, 17 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Sister [DVD] (DVD)
Perhaps I should give up watching French films but every now and then a real gem comes out. My favourites include Manon de Source and Jean de Florette. However this one was a real time waster. Not only was the story line weak but the sound quality was such that even the English was sometimes difficult to understand. Some may think there is some kind of social message but I doubt it.
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Sister [DVD]
Sister [DVD] by Ursula Meier (DVD - 2013)
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