Sister | Tribeca Film Festival 2014
In first-time filmmaker David Lascher’s movie Sister, what begins as somewhat predictable ends as a moody yet oddly comforting story of a brother and sister. Barbara Hershey (Black Swan) plays Susan Presser, a recent widow and concerned mother. After losing her husband, a strong source of support for her, she begins to worry about her adolescent daughter Niki (Grace Kaufman) and how she’s coping with the thought of growing up without her father. The story takes a turn when she decides to enlist her older, more disciplined son Billy (Reid Scott) to watch and take care of Niki. As a result, the siblings do not become immediate friends, but slowly become dependent on one another. Their opposite personalities work as both an obstacle and link in their relationship.
As with most films that address younger teens growing up and experimenting with drugs and authority figures, Sister has a largely dark and moody aesthetic. Billy’s slightly oppressive tactics, Niki’s rebellious attitude, and their mother’s neglect all work together to create the feeling of disconnection between the family members. Scott makes quite a turn from his satirical character on HBO’s Veep to a controlling older brother. Scott and Kaufman are the stars in this film that appeal to any distanced sibling relationship. Kaufman especially gives an amazing performance as a teen with mixed emotions, hidden by a severe exterior and drug habit. It’s through their time together that Billy and Niki become closer and overcome their respective faults.
This film, while not for the faint of heart, is relatable in terms of family dynamic. The script and actors carry the overall impression of this movie, as they tell the well-known story of what happens when death brings a family closer together.
Sister opened on 25th April at Tribeca Film Festival, for further information visit here.