June 21, 2012

Your Sister's Sister

I got tickets to the advanced screening of Your Sister's Sister that included a Q and A afterwards with the movie's director Lynn Shelton.  She is known for her improvisational approach to movie making.  I've been wanting to see this film since I saw the trailer.

Your Sister's Sister centers on 3 people:  Jack (Mark Duplass) who is in a bad place in his life having no direction and had caused a scene at the anniversary of his brother's death.  Iris (Emily Blunt), his best friend, suggests for him to take a break to clear his mind and stay at her father's cabin in the San Juan Islands in Wa.  Jack arrives at the cabin and finds Iris' sister, Hannah (Rosemarie Dewitt) there.  She had just ended a long time relationship.  What happens is a cascade of events putting the three characters in wonderfully awkward situations.

It's such a well made film with exceptional "dialogue" considering it's 80 % improv from the actors according to the film's director.  She had an outline with how scenes would flow as well as some dialogue but had asked the actors not to memorize them.   Instead, she had encouraged them to use their own words as well as their own annecdotes in some scenes.  In fact, she had actually granted writing credits to the actors at the end of the film for their contribution.  What resulted is such a natural movie that it feels like you were there in the cabin with them.  The plot twist was unexpected and the slow resolution wasn't forced but built gradually.  It is so satisfying that when you get to the end of the movie, it was just right and made you smile.

Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt and Mark Duplass couldn't even be more perfect in their roles.  With great chemistry among the three of them, the sister relationship as well as best friend relationship seemed so organic.  It's also a testament to these actors ability to have intimately understood their individual characters for them to be able to improv not just their dialogues but also their reactions to revelations in the story.  It's such a wonderful thing to watch.  Very gratifying.  I can't wait to own the dvd!

Director Lynn Shelton answering questions after the movie


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