Last night we saw Orphans, the "feature film debut" of a young filmmaker named Ry Russo-Young (younger than me, anyway; I pretty much consider anyone born post-1980 to be a child). It's about two sisters with a fraught relationship; the younger, artsy, city-dwelling one, Rosie, goes out to visit the older sister, Sonya, in the country for her birthday. Sonya lives in the house they inherited from their parents.
It's a really interesting movie for the most part, psychologically because of their complex/fucked-up dynamic and visually because of saturated colors against big snowy Midwestern skies. (Except apparently they were upstate NY skies.) Also the two leads are appealing/charismatic actresses. But Orphans' fatal flaw is its lack of ambiguity. The director takes clear sides on two issues: 1) it's very anti-alcohol, in a sensationalist, driving-school kind of way (there are actually slow-mo shots of crash-test dummies cut in during the opening sequence) (and yet, the rampant smoking and unexplained pill-taking are not similarly condemned) and 2) by the end we're obviously supposed to throw our sympathies in with Rosie, who kind of hates Sonya; to see her as morally superior to her in some way. But I found Sonya more sympathetic. It ends up feeling really judgmental and mean. (See: Rosie staring with disgust as Sonya eats a whole smoked fish with relish. (As in, enjoyment, not the condiment.))
There were a couple other heavy-handed moments, like when Rosie smashes their childhood dollhouse. We get it, geez, shattered dreams. Overall though, worth seeing. But I'm always extra-affected by sibling movies (e.g., Hilary and Jackie, You Can Count on Me), because my relations with my own sib have their share of fraught.
We're off to a house-warming party. I'm pleased that proper pre-summer weather has returned to greater Boston. Tomorrow: thoughts on Susan Boyle? Maybe.