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The Sisters (2006)

Maria Bello , Eric Mccormack  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Maria Bello, Eric Mccormack
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: June 13, 2006
  • Run Time: 113 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000F3UACA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,691 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Sisters" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by director Arthur Allan Siedelman and writer Richard Alfieri

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"The Sisters" is suggested by Anton Chekhov’s renowned play, "The Three Sisters." The film tells the story of familial deception and ultimate revelation amongst three sisters, exploring their ups and downs as well as the ties that bind them despite their dysfunctional family dynamics. Featuring a sensational cast, including 2006 Golden Globe nominee Maria Bello, "The Sisters" spins an extraordinary tale of love, lust deceit, and loss.

Loosely based on the classic Russian play Three Sisters, The Sisters takes Anton Chekov's tale of failed marriages, stunted yearnings, and ordinary unhappiness and injects it with drug addiction, closeted homosexuality, and incest. Three daughters of a noted academic scholar find their lives falling apart: Marcia (Maria Bello, A History of Violence) loathes her psychologist husband and falls into the arms of a visiting old friend (Tony Goldwyn, Ghost); Olga (Mary Stuart Masterson, Fried Green Tomatoes) has turned brittle and secretive, despite a successful career; and Irene (Erika Christensen, The Upside of Anger), the baby of the family, finds herself engaged to a man she doesn't love (Chris O'Donnell, Kinsey). Meanwhile, their hapless brother Andrew (Allesandro Nivolla, Junebug) has married a brassy, vulgar woman all three sisters despise (Elizabeth Banks, Heights). As their dysfunctions collide, everyone talks in lengthy, hyper-articulate, and brutal detail about their problems. But all the actors--especially Bello--dive into their roles with gusto and vigor, drawing out some genuine feeling from this woefully overwritten script. Also featuring Rip Torn (Forty Shades of Blue, Men in Black) and Eric McCormack (Will & Grace). --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done, not for everyone August 15, 2006
Chekhov's coutryman Leo Tolstoy said that "every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Maybe so, the Prior/Prozorov family is certainly unhappy (and as some negative reviews have indicated, insufferable) in a way many of us would hope to avoid, but their pain is nevertheless accessible in this story.

Anyone considering this film should go in knowing that it deals with a painful story of wounded souls. If you're not up for the genre, pass on this out of hand. It starts off sad and gets sadder. Hey, it's Chekhov for goodness sake. And speaking of Chekhov, it's theatre, so be prepared for the mannered dialog and the fact that most of the story takes place on a single set.

Everyone in the cast turns in a top-notch and complex performance that allows the viewer to have compassion for characters one would most wish to avoid in real life. As Donald Rumsfeld might say, you go through life with the family you have, not the family you'd wish to have.

The story here is how Prior/Prozorov family goes through that life and how they pay the price for the choices they make and the circumstances they couldn't avoid. If you're up for a glimpse into their journey, you will enjoy this story.

At the same time I would point out that I sympathize with the negative reviews. If you see any glimmer of similar tastes that click with you in the negative reviews (in particular discussions of the screenwriter/playwright's use of dialog and the character of the characters), stay away. This story is not for everybody.

Finally I'd say that the DVD is way overpriced for a production of this type that includes little in the way of extras. Rent don't buy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting!! June 5, 2006
This is one of the best films I had seen all year! It acting was excellent! I especially LOVED Maria Bello's performance. This is a must see movie. Hats off to everyone involved in making this film.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The Sisters is a movie that will no doubt polarize audiences. The critics hated it when it came out in theatres earlier this year with most of them labeling the film as a madly overwritten, pompous, dour, and overwrought psychodrama with about as much subtly as a sledgehammer. Yes - it's all those things, but the fact that it's so over-the-top is the reason why the film works. And it also features some great acting - particularly by Maria Bello.

Loosely adapted from the Chekhov play, The Three Sisters, The Sisters is all about sibling rivalry, intellectual snobbery and betrayal in love. Under Arthur Allan Seidelman's accomplished direction, The Sisters has a heightened artificially, with the actors performing as though they are actually on the stage. This can be a bit jarring and grating at first, but once you get used to it, it becomes quite effective because it reminds us of the stuffy intellectual insularity of this family and their world.

Even before the youngest Prior sister Irine (Erika Christensen) arrives for her annual "surprise" birthday party at a Manhattan faculty club, the characters are managing to spew hatred and vitriol at each other. Marcia (Bello) is deeply unhappy in her marriage with Dr. Harry Glass (Stephen Culp) whom she met while attending a psychiatric conference and she's spent most of her adult life carrying deep-seated emotional baggage.

Molested by her father, when she was a little girl, Maria resents that fact that her older sister Olga (Mary Stuart Masterson) who never bothered to take the molestation seriously.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films of the year May 29, 2006
I was fortunate to see this film twice - once when it premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and again in Los Angeles, and all I can say is this is by far the best film of the year.

The all-star (and I do mean all-star) cast is in top form as they verbally joust with words from the equally-as-superior screenplay. I was intellectually stimulated in the theater for the first time in years -- and that is enough to qualify this film in the "best of the year" category for me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Partay! August 30, 2010
Essentially, a two-stage play, modern-set Victorian, visually lavish, in which the convincing (if extroverted) inner turmoils of a family of three girls, and one disjointed brother, are evolved from early paternal abuse and expressed with an overstated zeal for the academia in which they live, resulting in a family that just does NOT know how to party.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
When I think about it, there have been quite a few cinematic variations on Anton Chekhov's classic "The Three Sisters" from Woody Allen's austere "Interiors" to Diane Keaton's execrable "Hanging Up". Playwright-turned-screenwriter Richard Alfieri provides a more literal adaptation by updating the original play to the present and resetting it primarily in a Manhattan faculty lounge on the Upper West Side. Longtime TV director Arthur Allan Seidelman guides an impressive ensemble of actors in the proceedings, but the result unfortunately feels like a stagy TV-movie brimming with overripe theatrics. The abundance of characters and multi-layered set-up seem to make the actors chew the scenery excessively, though a few still make indelible impressions.

The structure and themes of the Chekhov play remain the same. The plot focuses on the four Prior siblings - Marcia, Olga, Irene and Andrew - and their clashing destinies and unraveling secrets furnish the drama as they get together for Irene's 22nd birthday party. Maria is the beautiful, vitriolic older sister unhappily married to a passive psychology professor while embarking on a torrid affair with Vincent, their father's former teaching assistant who has come unexpectedly for a visit. Irene is the buttoned-up middle sister, an English literature professor and by default the family conciliator. Irene is the protected baby sister whose sunny disposition masks deeper insecurities that lead to a crystal-meth overdose. Andrew is the weak, emasculated brother who has brought home Nancy, his slatternly fiancée, whom his sisters, especially Marcia, despise. There are others who encircle the family like a vise with their own histrionics - kindly department head Dr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Close to Home.
Viewing this movie brought a lot of things close to home . Some wonderfull actresses
in it also . Recommend it to others .
Published on September 24, 2012 by Gar .
4.0 out of 5 stars A must see film
This is another surprising indy film that brings together a good cast, a good story and good direction. Read more
Published on January 17, 2012 by Jeffrey H. Price
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sisters is Great!
I watched this movie one day because it was streaming free from Netflix. I loved the film! Loved it so much that I went out and bought the Chekov play that it was said to be... Read more
Published on November 30, 2010 by k
1.0 out of 5 stars The Spewers
This is not a movie; it is a rant. This is not a family; it is a cabal. There are no people in this movie; there are only predators. Read more
Published on July 29, 2008 by The Concise Critic:
2.0 out of 5 stars Sludge
The Sisters

Well, maybe you have to live in New York to enjoy this. I was afraid there'd be nothing but glowing reviews here. Read more
Published on April 18, 2008 by J. C Clark
5.0 out of 5 stars Does Chekov credit
This film is terrifically well done. Yes, it's a bit stagey but I liked that. The dialog harks back to the 19th Century, especially in the beginning when the denisons of the... Read more
Published on January 1, 2007 by Promise
4.0 out of 5 stars After slow beginning, 3 stars build intensity & drama...
It took 15-20 minutes to catch onto the dramatic intensity but three sisters and an obnoxious chess scene with David and Gary convinced me to stay with the Chekhov Story! Read more
Published on November 21, 2006 by Fred W. Hood
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best independent films in years!
The Sisters, with its stellar cast & spectacular script, sizzles with sex appeal, rich dialogue, and an incredible story of the sometimes difficult bond we often share with... Read more
Published on October 23, 2006 by Jason Pelovello
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheap Looking, But Really Good
Explaining a movie like "The Sisters" is kind of hard. Not because the movie so good, it's unexplainable... Read more
Published on July 3, 2006 by Joshua Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Sisters" is a must see film
Arthur Allan Seidelman's "The Sisters" is such a stellar work of art. There is so much talent in this movie it's extraordinary. Read more
Published on June 27, 2006 by Blake Jennings
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