L'Enfant d'en haut (Sister) – Overview/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

The complexity of family is played on screen and throughout the film, you watch one do what it takes to be loved, as the other seems almost indifferent at times.

Review (with Spoilers)

After seeing Blue is the Warmest Color (or Colour) I thought I should look for other films Lea Seydoux did, and months ago I was recommended to see this by someone on IMDB. So I finally got around to getting this movie, which likely will not be the last time I review a Seydoux movie, and though the movie wasn’t on the level of Blue is the Warmest Color, it still was quite entertaining. Well, at least the second half.

Characters & Story

In the film, our focus primarily is on Simon (played by Kacey Mottet Klein) who helps Louise (played by Lea Seydoux) with the bills by stealing from the local ski resort’s tourist and reselling their merchandise. The two live close enough to said ski resort for Simon to “find” a lot of skis, goggles, gloves, and pockets to go through, to make sure he and Louise have food on the table. And during the first half of the movie, it seems like this is all Simon does as Louise wanders about with whatever boy fancies her at the time.

However, in the middle of the film a bomb is dropped and quickly the tone of the film changes and it goes from having this almost coming of age vibe to getting a bit darker, and a bit more morose. I won’t reveal why, but with something Simon says, we see his and Louise’s relationship in a whole new way. Then, from that point of the movie onward, the focus is on the layers to that issue which, though perhaps simple on paper, are portrayed with such complexity that you almost wish this bomb was dropped sooner in the film.

Praise

What I must admit is that I feel like the climax was quite a bit surprising and did help shake the movie. For the first half of the film was really ho-hum, but once the climax hits is when you get great performances out of Klein, as well as Seydoux. As in Blue, Seydoux plays a girl full of mystery, but with her stripped of Emma’s education and opportunities, Louise is simply someone trying to survive the best way she knows how, and while she doesn’t outdo Klein as she outdid Adele Exarchopoulos in Blue, she remains an essential force of which you can’t picture the movie without, be it her character or simply her.

But Klein is perhaps truly the one who deserves praise. For though Seydoux maybe putting him up on her shoulders, the boy makes you feel for his character who seemingly just wants the most genuine love and affection from Louise, even if it means paying for it. I mean, to watch him, a 12-year-old, be in a helpless situation with someone who he loves, who would openly tell him no one wanted him when his mother was pregnant, is a bit heartbreaking. And yet, the woman who tells him this he loves for there is really no one else anymore. So no matter how mean, or how much they may struggle, she is his everything and he accepts her for reasons which sometimes are hard to understand.

Criticism

But, I must say that when I first started watching the movie I was ready to turn it off. Us getting to know Simon as a kleptomaniac who sells people’s stuff to make ends meet, while interesting, got old quick as we watch him sell stuff, make a partner in selling skis and all that. Then, Seydoux in the beginning, to me anyway, was just this shallow written young adult who seemingly was dependent on her kid brother while she hanged around some boy. And though there were mentions of her working, we don’t see that till the end so you easily forget she does more than possibly take advantage of Simon’s affections for her. But, as a whole, once the 2nd half hits you can forgive the first half for it really is just made to set things up so the 2nd half can pack a punch.

Overall: Rental/ VOD

Honestly, this is more so a TV viewing type film, but I am not sure if this would play on TV so I have to push it up to a rental. For while I did like the movie, I must admit I am comparing it to Blue and in comparison, while I remain a fan of Seydoux and plan to see more of her work in the coming months, this film just doesn’t seem like it is worth spending money on unless you are a fan of Seydoux or Klein, assuming he is still acting. Still, though, I think this is definitely worth watching on a Sunday afternoon and though the film may seem like it lacks direction in the first half, once the 2nd half hits you will see the both performers finally put on a show which may not be the full extent of their talents, but definitely gives you enough of a taste to want to see more from them.

Questions, Comments, or Opposing Opinion?