Skip to content

Little Sister – VIFF 2016 Review

01 October 2016 | Features, Reviews | by Shane Scott-Travis

little-sister

Writer/director Zach Clark (White Reindeer, Vacation!) begins his latest comedy––more of a melodrama with an irreverent spin––with a quote from shock rocker Marilyn Manson; “Fail to see the tragic, turn it into magic!” And thus begins Little Sister, an immediately light and likeable indie with enough witty aphorisms, sardonic interactions, and odd-yet-amiable characters that more than once while watching the film I lamented, why doesn’t Hal Hartley make movies like this anymore?

Beginning in Brooklyn in 2008 we meet Colleen Lunsford (Addison Timlin, excellent), a young nun estranged from her family. Having received an email from her mother, Joani (Ally Sheedy), asking that she return home to Asheville, NC, because her brother has returned from the Iraq war, where he nearly died and is now disfigured.

At first uncertain how to act, Colleen seeks some advice from the Reverend Mother (Barbara Crampton) who decides to lend her her car for a trip back home, adding, “it took God six days to create the universe, you should be able to get your life back together in five.”

Little Sister feels like a very confident and mature work from Clark, and the digressive plot strands are relishable, as are the laughs they implore. Coleen finds her old bedroom, for instance, untouched and exactly how she left it––painted black, adorned with inverted crucifixes and heavy metal posters. No one in her hometown recognizes her without her white foundation and other goth accoutrements making her awkwardness palpable and her present prudishness somehow sticky.

Even though there’s considerable tragedy in Little Sister; Joani is depressed and has survived several suicide attempts; Jacob (Brian Poulson), Colleen’s brother, is terribly deformed and hides away in the family’s guesthouse, when he does venture out he’s mistaken for a monster by a precocious brat; and Colleen herself is at a crossroads she seems ill equipped to wander. And yet, Clark imbues these histrionic instances with a sense of fun and adulation.

For all the potentially loaded subject matter, Clark brilliantly displays a diligence to engage and elucidate without didacticism so that Little Sister is a droll delight that charms and enchants both the head and the heart.

Taste of Cinema Rating: 3.5 stars (out of 5)

Author Bio: Shane Scott-Travis is a film critic, screenwriter, comic book author/illustrator and cineaste. Currently residing in Vancouver, Canada, Shane can often be found at the cinema, the dog park, or off in a corner someplace, paraphrasing Groucho Marx. Follow Shane on Twitter @ShaneScottravis.

 

 


   

Other Brilliant Movie Posts On The Web
   

Like Our Facebook Page and Get Daily Updates
   
  • Pingback: Little Sister – VIFF 2016 Review | Roberto Cimatti()

  • D Train

    Really want to see this!

    • Donnahlewis3

      Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !ch195f:
      On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
      !ch195f:
      ➽➽
      ➽➽;➽➽ http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash485DirectCampusGetPay$97Hour ★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★✫★★::::::!ch195f:….,……..

    • D Lame

      Don’t go messing with a country boy a country boy a country boy
      Don’t go messing with a country boy
      Don’t mess with a country boy

      when I was a little boy baby, I cut my teeth on a big ol? tree
      Mama filled my bottle from a moonshine still,
      my first meal was the bass he killed
      bass he killed the bass he killed
      my first meal was the bass he killed

      While I grew and I grew and by the time I was ten
      I was six feet tall and men among men
      men loved my work and loved my play
      I?d hate the fool that’d get my way
      get my way get my I?d hate the fool that’ll get in my way

      *Chorus*
      Don’t go messing with a country boy a country boy a country boy
      Don’t go messing with a country boy
      Don’t mess with a country boy

      IF you go messing with a country boy a country boy a country boy
      If you go messing with a country boy
      This is what will happen to you

      You’d be biting off a hump bit and chew bit and chew bit and chew
      You’d be biting off a hump bit and chew
      That?s what will happen to you

      *Chorus*
      Taken from AlbumSongAndLyrics.com
      Don’t go messing with a country boy a country boy a country boy
      Don’t go messing with a country boy
      Don’t mess with a country boy
      A country boy A country boy
      Don’t go messing with a country boy