THE SISTERS BROTHERS
SPEC D: Jacques Audiard. US/France/ ñ
Romania/Spain. 120 min. Sep 8, 9:30 pm, Princess of Wales; Sep 9, 10 am, Winter Garden. Rating: NNNN Based on the novel by Patrick deWitt, Audiard’s English-language debut is a Western in much the same way that A Prophet was a prison thriller and Dheepan was a refugee drama: it establishes its chosen genre and then strikes out in its own direction.
It’s 1851, and sibling assassins Charlie and Eli Sisters (Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly) are tracking their latest target (Riz Ahmed) and his travelling companion (Jake Gyllenhaal) from Oregon to California – a journey that will bring all four men together, and not in a way any of them expects.
It’s a gorgeous, strange ride filled with gifted actors in curious combinations: Phoenix and Reilly are a great match as brothers, with a rhythm that speaks to decades of mutual irritation, while Nightcrawler co-stars Gyllenhaal and Ahmed get to explore an entirely different sort of dynamic.