The Sisters (2006)
Sound: C+ Extras: B- Film: B-
After Shakespeare, it seems the next author so many “love”
to do films and other extrapolations on is Chekhov and like The Bard, many of
them simply botch it. In Arthur Allan
Seidelman’s The Sisters (2006, based on the play Three Sisters)
has the conflict slowly break out between the title characters (Maria Bello,
Elizabeth Banks, Erika Christensen) and the rest of their family. This includes lovers (lesbian included) and
husbands, updated with more resonance than expected.
Part of the drama centers around the old family house,
which is more like a plantation mansion, but represents the legacy (good, bad
& ugly) of their past, dysfunctions, successes and increasingly noticed
failures. What will they do with it,
keep it or sell it, becomes metaphor about their own family affairs. The problems surface with Eric McCormack
having too much of a showy role which leads to too much scenery chewing despite
his best efforts, a conclusion that is as silly as it is unsatisfactory and
does not really resolve or even openly conclude how smart and clever Richard
Alfieri’s script is. Even likes about
rather being a bitch than a whore (or slut, you loose track of the obscenities)
work, though it makes one feel like All About Eve is being
revisited. Tony Goldwyn, Mary Stuart
Masterson, Chris O’Donnell and Rip Torn also star.
The anamorphically enhanced 1.85 X 1 image is a little
soft and has muted colors.
Cinematographer Chuy Chavez shot the film at locations other than where
the story takes place it looks about convincing, yet it works enough for the
actors to have the space they need to interact in an area that is dense. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no
surrounds and is very dialogue-based, but plays fine for such a film. The commentary by writer Alfieri and
director Seidelman and the original theatrical trailer are the only extras.
- Nicholas Sheffo