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Dir. Jacques Audiard | USA, France, Romania, Spain 2018 | 122 mins | 15
John C. Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix star in Jacques Audiard’s (A Prophet, Rust and Bone, Dheepan) English language debut, a subtle and darkly funny Western about the adventures of two brothers sent to kill a prospector accused of stealing from a crime boss.
It’s 1850s Oregon at the height of the Gold Rush. The quarrelling Sisters brothers, Eli and Charlie, are two grizzled guys liable to come riding into town up to no good. They are also assassins, working for a shadowy figure nicknamed the Commodore, and beginning a new mission - to ‘whack’ a disloyal prospector by the name of Hermann Kermit Warm (Riz Ahmed). To help them track their victim, the Commodore lends them the services of a private detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) who mostly annoys them with his pompous letters telling them what to do. Yet all is not what it seems, and gradually Eli and Charlie, like Butch and Sundance before them, begin to suspect there may be some pretty persistent people on their own tails too...
Based on Canadian author Patrick deWitt's award-winning novel, Audiard and his skilled cast have turned The Sisters Brothers into far more than a colourful romp. Darkly witty and delightfully offbeat yes, but Audiard inflects the tale with a dreamlike quality and a good deal of reverence, tipping his hat to the traditions of the Western, while providing his own unique stamp on the genre.
Tickets: £7.75 / £6.00 (inc. Poly Fund)