Tuesday, 27 November 2012


I've just read that this Franco-Swiss film is to be submitted by Switzerland to the Academy Awards as 'Best Foreign Film'. Well, that just about beats everything!

I was going to start this post by saying "Why did they even bother to make this?"
If there was supposed to be some entertainment value, then it must have been so negligible as to have missed me.

In a ski resort, a spoilt twelve year old boy (who can barely construct a single sentence without inserting an obscenity) 'earns' money for himself and the one he passes off as his sister (warning: spoiler coming up!) by stealing ski equipment and clothing (and contents of wallets and purses) from skiers who are out on the slopes or elsewhere engaged, and sells them off to other skiers (yes!) on the pretext of having acquired them through clearance sales. He gives the newer items marks of wear and tear to give a more authentic appearance of being second hand. He must have been doing this for some years as he's got such expertise in this, as well as having an ability to lie with ease and to drive a hard sell - yet somehow his 'sister' hasn't cottoned on to what he's been doing until he shows her - and yet all the while he's been providing her with money with which to go on dates.
    The only real 'event' in the entire film is when it's revealed, two-thirds through, that she is not his sister at all, though I thought that (visually) their ages didn't compute. She was acting like an immature and irresponsible adolescent having casual affairs, but she would have had to have been at least 24 if there had been the relationship between the two of them as is now revealed. (I've also just seen that the actress' true age is 27.)  But if my own perception was at fault in that respect it certainly wasn't in wondering how the kid had got away with his crimes for so long without having faced the law. Are we to believe that not a single victim of these thefts reported it to the resort's authorities? - or not enough of them reported and caused a tightening of security and increased vigilance for suspicious activity? e.g. a boy wandering around alone carrying more than one pair of skis and other what-nots?  Did not even one of his buyers find that he was trying to sell to them the very equipment that they themselves had just lost? Apparently not.
    It's a very static film - mirthless from start to finish, with no redemptive path beckoning to either the boy or girl. It finishes with the boy sitting alone, forlornly on the hillside, amid melting snow just after the ski season has come to an end and all skiers and workers have departed. I take it that we are to feel sorry for him, now facing the Summer months without his regular means of income! (Sniffle sniffle!)

For me the film's only saving grace was the welcome, but short, appearances of Gillian Anderson as a tourist who innocently befriends the boy, falling for his untruths. But she doesn't have a significant part to play.

This film is a hot contender for my 'Turkey of the Year'. If it wins the Oscar for 'Best Foreign Film' I shall stick a very large plume of feathers up my arse, photograph it, and post the result on this very blog!
But while you're waiting for that to happen I award 'Sister' a score of....................2/10 (and Ms Anderson is responsible for three of those points!)

Btw: I wonder why they English title is 'Sister' (well, okay, because that is not the relationship we start by thinking it is) - rather than something like 'The Child (Boy?) From Above', which, I suppose, in this context would be the mountainside. Anyway, who cares now? I don't!


  1. I oddly want it to win the oscar now!! Hopefully you'll be taking the photo whilst out on the pier or something!!

    *saying hi from Brighton*

    1. Now Jase dear, I know you won't hold me to the literal letter of an idea voiced in the heat of the moment, having been particularly irritated after returning from watching this bunkum, dripping from having been caught in heavy rain in a non-waterproof jacket and with no appropriate headwear. Anyway, dream on - 'cos it will not - repeat, NOT - win!

  2. How disappointng!. The bright spot about foreign films up for awards is it causes them to be available in the market sooner than they otherwise would. Sounds like 'never' is soon enough for this one.

    Thanks for the warning

    1. Only my own humble opinion, H.K. There are obviously people around who think this is the best film since sliced bread - such as the Swiss themselves. But at least it's got to get past the hurdle of being shortlisted as a nomination first - which, knowing my 'appalling' tastes, it probably will.

  3. this blogger is a joke. There is no constructive critism in this only to be like Mikey for those of you that remember him in the commercials. The young actor is my son and if his preformance was not good I would be the first to say so to myself. I get all alerts both about the movie and my son and not only is this movie being considered for a nomination on the long list in the U.S. but it is being considered for the Swiss Academy awards. Also my son Kacey Mottet is on a long list for consideration in France for the Cesar. A prestigious French award. Ursula Meier has won several awards in film festivals already
    Blogger stick to American movies where even though we have cultural differences between the states, this cultural difference is out of you league. Read the NY Times review.
    Proud but fair Pappa