peteg's blog - noise - movies - 2010 04 03 Brothers


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It seems that Jim Sheridan can indeed do some wrong. The topic of this one is worthy, focussing on the psychological destruction of Marine Captain Tobey Maguire at the hands of some badass Afghans, and his inability to relate to his brother and wife on return. (His relationship with his father is obdurate.) We are told a few times that Portman is beautiful, just in case we have let her involvement in the mentally scarring Star Wars pre-trilogy besmirch our opinions of her. Gyllenhaal comes out looking the best in this cast of cardboard cutouts.

The plot is quite holey as it is difficult to wring the kind of tension Sheridan is looking for while retaining a grasp on reality; the whole thing falls apart if, for example, we knew what Portman was told about Tobey's existential status (presumably he's MIA, but she's in no doubt that he's dead). Also this fictional military has a quite ineffectual hands-off recovery program.

More show, less painting the past with words please Mr Sheridan. And try to make a movie that outdoes the short next time.