Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Jim Sheridan made his directorial debut a long time ago with My Left Foot and helped get Daniel Day Lewis on his road to being one of the most well-respected actors of all time (Lewis' first Oscar performance).
He has made a career of intense story telling and serious topics garnering some of his actors' best performances.
His latest offering, Brothers, (based on a Danish film called Brodre) hits another tricky topic, war in Afghanistan and the effects on the families of the soldiers.
Again, Sheridan coaches out some great performances from his actors and makes it look easy.
The best performance in this film is from Jake Gyllenhaal as younger, troubled brother Tommy Cahill. His older brother, Tobey Maguire's Sam Cahill, is a captain in the USMC and makes another trip to Afghanistan.
Tommy's wife, Grace, is played by the lovely and talented Natalie Portman. It's important to note how pretty she is because it is a fact repeated by several of the characters throughout the movie.
Some of the dialogue is clunky and cliched, parts of Maguire's performance are overacted (he overdoes the crazy eyes a few times), and there is a line delivered by the oldest daughter that is just preposterous, but overall the movie is a satisfying character study that provides an interesting look at the effects of war on the soldier and on the family they leave behind to cope with their absence.
The movie is thoroughly entertaining the whole way through, but has some major holes in spots but manages to get past that and deliver one of the better movies of 2009. Not that 2009 has brought too much competition, but it is actually the second best Iraq/Afghanistan war movie to see wide release this year, following The Hurt Locker which might be the best movie so far about the current war.
Brothers could have used a little more of the experiences Sam has in Afghanistan, and a little refining of the dialogue, but the whole film is solid and thought-provoking, so it gets a B+.
--John Berry, online editor--


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home