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Sister My Sister [DVD] [1995] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

3.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001I54RK
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,745 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
It is by no means a spoiler to mention that this film is based on a notorious French murder case, since a palpable sense of impending catastrophe looms over the production right from the off. Two heavily-repressed sisters (Joely Richardson & Jodhi May) are engaged as maids at the terminally-disfunctional household of Julie Walters and her daughter Sophie Thursfield. Relentlessly hectored and bullied, the sisters' mutual dependency soon evolves into an intense, obsessional relationship that they struggle to keep concealed. Director Nancy Meckler plays the claustrophobic atmosphere of the house for all its worth, but the film stands on the performances of the cast, all of whom are excellent: Richardson as the ice-maiden desperately clinging to the remnants of her self-control; May as the naive, trusting, perpetually-terrified waif; and Walters, playing "Madame" like a borderline-psychotic version of an archetypal 'Wood & Walters' character (and utterly terrifying with it). But it's Thursfield who steals the show, as the dumpy, distinctly ineligible daughter who realises full well that she and her mother are just as trapped as the luckless sisters. By no means an easy watch, but a film to haunt you long after the closing credits have rolled.
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Format: DVD
I thought this was going to be slow, but once I got into it I was very impressed. Fantastic acting by Julie Walters and co and the fact that it is based on a true story. All four main characters are complex and eccentric. Watch it for yourself and see 4 excellent actresses in action.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
To make it short, this is not a horror movie. It's a drama and a thriller. A movie which builds up the tension into a climax that leaves you speechles and thinking. Just like "Heavenly Creatures". The actors are above brilliant, the directing is superb. The dialogues intense. It is based on the Papin murder case which took place in France, 1933. Two sisters brutally murdered their employer and her daughter in intense rage.

Since the two sisters become alienated from their surrounding world they have only each other to turn to. The harsh words and mischief from their employer make them flee ito an incestious relationship. The outcome leads to the above mentioned crime. This movie certainly deserved a bigger release with more advertising. Unfortunately it remains an independent release on a small label. Joely Richardson later starred in "Event Horizon" by the way.
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Based on a play, this feels quite theatrical: it more-or-less has only four speaking parts and is set almost entirely in one house - which on film lends it a real claustrophobia and intimacy. Based on a real case where two maids brutally murdered their employers, the four actresses are fantastic - Joely Richardson has rarely been better; Jodhi May brings her trade-mark emotional intensity, and even Sophie Thursfield (who?!) is perfect as Julie Walters' daughter. Most reviews at the time criticised the "graphically brutal" scene of violence at the end - but in fact, shot by shot, there is none shown: the criticisms were testament to how tautly the film winds up your nerves and plays on your imagination. Haunting.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The titles tell the story of a tragedy exacerbated by circumstance. The grim reality of a mistress/servant relationship is depicted in an atmosphere of claustrophobia and social repression as the audience is taken on a slow trip to Hell.

Two sisters, brought up in a nunnery when their mother decided she did not want to be troubled with their upbringing, are split up when the older one leaves, leaving the younger one, Lea, alone. Later on, the older sister has found work in service in a household of Madam Danzard and her daughter,Isabelle. She takes Lea out of the convent and finds her a job too as maids. Madam Danzard is an exacting employer, running her fingers over the furniture to ensure it is dust free. The sisters/maids do everything in the household, cooking,cleaning,dressmaking. They live together in a room at the top of the stairs in a world set apart. This separation eventually leads to what was probably an incestuous passion.

When the cracks in the service begin to get more obvious, Madame Danzard and her frumpy daughter change the relationship which becomes mutually cold. The sisters want to protect one another as their own relationshp has become more than familial love leading to a terrific,but inevitable climax.

The playing is superb, especially Julie Walters who reins in her histrionics,and the camerawork composed of tracking shots from above using the stairs and bannisters to underline the repressive atmosphere of the huge house. It is as if the house becomes a prison for them all. The two sets of women eventually split, their only connection being the actual service the sisters provide. They have decided to live their own lives beginning with refusing to see their mother to hand over their wages and spending time together instead.
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Even the fabulous Julie Walters cannot save this story, which although not terrible, is really not up to much. A bit too dark, and more than a little boring, I judge my movies by whether or not I would ever watch them again, or keep them in my DVD library. This one is going straight out to Magpie. I do love Julie Walters though and would watch anything that she appears in. Unfortunately in this case, only once.
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