This is a really terrific French film that has just opened in Australia, although it was released last year in France as “Les Soeurs fachees”. At the heart of the film is the seemingly dysfunctional relationship between Martine (played by Isabelle Huppert) and Louise (played by Catherine Frot). Martine lives in Paris, is wealthy, and is very “cool”, but ultimately unsatisfied with with her life. Her sister, Louise, who lives in Le Mans and is all a bit “rural” has come to Paris to visit her and to meet a publisher, as she has written a book about various aspects of her life.
Although it seems the source of their dysfunctional relationship is the very different lives they lead, it’s really about how they have reacted differently to their childhood with an alcoholic mother.
The performances of both actresses are genuine and honest. They’re not glamorous, but they’re also not desperately downtrodden. You could imagine yourself in their position without too much difficulty. The secondary characters are also well played, although none of them really stand out, and this film could actually exist without any other characters.
There are some really great moments of humour in this film. But there are also some teary moments, especially at the end, though I didn’t leave the cinema feeling upset. Rather, I felt great about the film. Although I hate the phrase, it’s a “feel good” movie, it is that… but with more depth.