Fifth about The Seventh

The Sisters Brothers

The Sisters Brothers: Jacques Audiard’s Western tells a very traditional storyline, of a pair of men hot in pursuit of a second pair; thematically, it also goes for the traditional, as it deals with greed and the pull to civilization. The four main characters are talkative, garrulous even, which is unusual for the genre, but it allows for a deeper insight into all of them. The film is uneven, with the first half a bit slow to take-off, but the second half is more interesting, unexpected almost. The cast is in excellent shape: Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed have comparatively minor roles and are both competent. Joaquin Phoenix, as the violence-prone leader of the title duo of killers, is remarkable and has great chemistry with John C. Reilly, as the gentler, older brother who remains a man doing bad things in spite of suffering the pull towards civilization. The locations are very attractive, if a bit unusual for the genre; they are shot with off-putting crispness and hyper-realism by cinematographer Benoît Debie (the film is also overlit; admittedly, it all may be an issue with the copy on my end); composer Alexandre Desplat’s musical score is beautiful but also atypical. Milena Canonero’s costume design and Michel Barthélémy’s production design are spot-on.

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