Sister My Sister

1995

Sister My Sister

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

63%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 8

64%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,361
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Movie Info

In this stark drama based on actual events in a small French town in the early '30s, a pair of repressed sisters slowly lose their grip on reality, leading to horrific consequences at the home where they're employed as maids. Christine (Joely Richardson), a domestic servant in the home of haughty widow Madame Danzard (Julie Walters), takes pride in her efficiency and deference. Raised by nuns, Christine bitterly resents her penniless mother, but remains devoted to her younger, similarly convent-reared sister, Lea (Jodhi May). When Lea, too, comes to work for Madame Danzard, Christine trains her dutifully while also driving a wedge between the girl and their mother. The sisters' emotional bond eventually becomes a sexual one, too, and as they turn inward their work suffers, leading to increasing disapproval from their employer. Meanwhile, Christine is driven mad with jealousy at what she perceives as a flirtation between Lea and Madame Danzard's sullen daughter, Isabelle (Sophie Thursfield). Tensions reach a boiling point when the widow and her daughter return home one evening to find burned garments, uncompleted housework, and the sisters holed up in their room together, smelling of sex. Adapted by Wendy Kesselman from her Pulitzer Prize-winning play, My Sister in This House, Sister My Sister was based on the true story of Christine and Lea Papin, whose grisly 1933 murders have also inspired several other works. In addition to Jean Genet's 1948 play The Maids, the incident was the basis for Jean-Pierre Denis' feature Les Blessures Assassines and the documentary En Quete Des Soeurs Papin, both released in 2000. The real-life Christine Papin died after four years in prison, but Lea was released after ten years of hard labor and lived for several more decades in another small French town. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

Cast

Julie Walters
as Madame Danzard
Amelda Brown
as Visitor No. 1
Lucita Pope
as Visitor No. 2
Kate Gartside
as Sister Veronica
Aimee Schmidt
as Young Lea
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Critic Reviews for Sister My Sister

All Critics (8) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Sister My Sister

  • Jan 21, 2012
    A fascinating and disturbing true story, but unfortunately it fails due to uninspired film making and story telling. It was often dull and bland, though it works well when the tension is finally raised. The performances were pretty good all around, especially from Joely Richardson, but ultimately her character isn't given enough development. The audience never quite buys the ultimate outcome. 2.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2011
    I thought this was a good movie. It's definitely a quieter and more understated movie, at least until the end, and I think it helps to put the sisters' actions in a better perspective and it was also a pretty disturbing scene with the voice-over explaining what happened. They were pretty fucked up mentally, at least in the movie, who the fuck knows what happened in real life. The acting is strong, though there are some instances where Jodhi May was pretty terrible, she was up and down the entire movie. The rest of the cast was strong, with Julie Walters being absolutely tremendous. Overall I thought this was a really good 3 star movie.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2009
    This is a sick, haunting, bleak tale, and it's irresistible, too. The bond between the two sisters is the only light in the darkness of their still lives. The film may remind you both of "Remains of the Day" and "Heavenly Creatures". The weird thing is... they were all released around the same time :)
    Anastasia B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 26, 2009
    I found this quite engrossing. If you enjoyed Heavenly Creatures, you may like this even more. It's a heavy film and the situation of the two protagonists is easy to empathize with . Historically well interpreted. Sensational events well depicted without the use of sensational exposition.
    Pamela D Super Reviewer

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