Simon lives with his older sister, Louise, in a low-cost apartment complex which happens to situated below a luxury Swiss ski resort. Louise drifts through life going from job to job, relationship to relationship inevitable leaving Simon, the twelve-year-old, with the responsibility of taking care of them. Everyday Simon ascends the mountain on the ski-lift to the luxury resort where he spends most of the day stealing various pieces of equipment from the tourists and reselling it to the locals as the primary way to support him and his sister. Ursula Meier's Sister is a complex character study about a boy whose been forced to grow up way too fast. We spend a lot of time with Simon seeing how he's perfected his swindling ways but there is a subtle naivety to Simon's character, a boy whose been robbed of his adolescents. Simon doesn't comprehend that his parental role in his relationship with Louise is not normal. This fact is illustrated quite beautifully in a scene where Simon insists on paying for lunch when he's among a mother and her children who he has just met. The relationship between Louise and Simon is really what this film is all about, and early on we see how they can be loving towards each other even though life is a constant struggle. Both Simon and Louise are scared about their lives and well-being which leads to conflict. Ursula Meier really crafts this film perfectly, with a reveal about 45 minutes into the movie which hits the viewer in the emotional wheelhouse. Possible Sister's best attribute is how it never becomes sentimental towards Simon, even in a very bleak story. It's naturalistic style is reminiscent of the Dardennes in the way the story is told, while also using cinematography to express the boys emotions with heavy use of wide shots illustrating the boy's loneliness and isolation in the world. After this aforementioned reveal, it becomes clear to the viewer that Louise has even more issues than one first anticipated with seemingly know desire to take any responsibility for her actions. While most films would demonize Louise, the film achieve a much more impressive feat in making the viewer have sympathy for her, showing the problems she faced which have placed her in this situation. Some are certain to find Sister to be too bleak but the film does provide the slightest glimmer of hope at the very end in a very poetic way. Ursula Meier's Sister is a haunting, somewhat meditative film, that's emotionally resonance is undeniable in telling the story of a young boy whose looking for something he can rely on in a cruel world.
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