Thursday, June 24, 2010
Since I first saw the trailer I thought Brothers looked like a good movie. As it turns out, it comes very close to being a great one. Jim Sheridan is the director and he's shown in the past that he's excellent at making stark, honest family dramas. See In America. Here he pulls off a great stunt by taking some potentially hokey and trite material and making it produce true emotion without hardly any melodrama. For a movie wrapped in such a glossy Hollywood package, Brothers felt very quiet, simple, and authentic. There are some moments of extreme passion, but for the most part the movie consists of characters quietly dealing with their problems. This is a remake of a 2005 European film that I haven't seen. But from what I hear it's a gritty film that's visually rough on the edges. Some have said that makes the original more real, but to me the fact that Sheridan makes such a Hollywood-looking movie so raw and simple adds the power of his film. The three main actors in the movie, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, and Tobey Maguire, are young and have been in some pretty big American productions. But they're not up there with the biggest Hollywood celebrities, which actually kept them from being distracting. That was the problem with Changeling. Very good movie, but Angelina Jolie's tabloid driven high status kept me from believing her character. Sometimes Brothers tried to be a little too cute, especially in the scenes involving the two daughters, but its quiet dialogue and believable characters made it, in the end, pretty great.