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  • Kritik: Two Sisters

    , starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Mare Winningham; directed by Ulu Grosbard

    , director Ulu Grosbard's elegantly simple story about the inescapable ties that bind two very different sisters. The story was, literally, tailor-made for her: Leigh is one of the movie's producers, and her mother, television veteran Barbara Turner, wrote the script. Leigh brings a larger-than-life quality to the horribly endearing Sadie, an aspiring Seattle singer who lacks the talent for rock stardom, but not the bad habits. Sadie is a slippery, needy, unreliable, hopelessly optimistic drunk--an emotional tornado who leaves chaos and wreckage in her wake. Still, she is curiously irresistible. Leigh gives her a core of sweetness and a puppy-like eagerness to please that rises to the surface at the most unexpected moments.

    co-stars as Sadie's older sister, Georgia, who is everything Sadie wants to be. Georgia is a talented singer and successful recording artist; she is also the center of a relatively happy family. She becomes the one who has to pick up the pieces every time Sadie breaks something. Winningham has the tougher part to play, and she does it beautifully: unlike the effusive, gregarious Sadie, who wears her heart--and most of her liver--on her sleeve, Georgia keeps everything inside. Winningham's muted, generous performance is all flickers and twinges, thin smiles, and glimpses of tightly held resentment and regret. Her restraint rings true to the character.

    While it is set around Seattle's music scene (and many of the city's clubs are used as locations),

    is no ode to grunge. The title character is a latter-day Joni Mitchell, more folk singer than rocker, and the music is mostly covers, with a couple of originals written by Winningham. The songs were filmed live, which gives the movie a rare and nervy quality; you feel exactly what is at stake when the drunken Sadie launches into an embarrassing, endless performance in front of the stunned audience at one of her sister's concerts.

    isn't about music at all. It is about the powerfully ambiguous connection between these two sisters. The movie is at its most effective in a simple, wordless scene in which Georgia sits at Sadie's hospital bedside, watching her sleep. There is a world of hurt and guilt in her eyes, but there is also a powerful, wounding glimpse of the love she has for her sister--a love that defies rational explanation, as love so often does in families. --Mary Brennan

    Jennifer Jason Leigh stars in Georgia, director Ulu Grosbard's elegantly simple story about the inescapable ties that bind two very different sisters. The story was, literally, tailor-made for her: Leigh is one of the movie's producers, and her mother, television veteran Barbara Turner, wrote the script. Leigh brings a larger-than-life quality to the horribly endearing Sadie, an aspiring Seattle singer who lacks the talent for rock stardom, but not the bad habits. Sadie is a slippery, needy, unreliable, hopelessly optimistic drunk--an emotional tornado who leaves chaos and wreckage in her wake. Still, she is curiously irresistible. Leigh gives her a core of sweetness and a puppy-like eagerness to please that rises to the surface at the most unexpected moments.

    Mare Winningham co-stars as Sadie's older sister, Georgia, who is everything Sadie wants to be. Georgia is a talented singer and successful recording artist; she is also the center of a relatively happy family. She becomes the one who has to pick up the pieces every time Sadie breaks something. Winningham has the tougher part to play, and she does it beautifully: unlike the effusive, gregarious Sadie, who wears her heart--and most of her liver--on her sleeve, Georgia keeps everything inside. Winningham's muted, generous performance is all flickers and twinges, thin smiles, and glimpses of tightly held resentment and regret. Her restraint rings true to the character.

    While it is set around Seattle's music scene (and many of the city's clubs are used as locations), Georgia is no ode to grunge. The title character is a latter-day Joni Mitchell, more folk singer than rocker, and the music is mostly covers, with a couple of originals written by Winningham. The songs were filmed live, which gives the movie a rare and nervy quality; you feel exactly what is at stake when the drunken Sadie launches into an embarrassing, endless performance in front of the stunned audience at one of her sister's concerts.

    In the end, though, Georgia

    Georgia, starring Jennifer Jason Leigh and Mare Winningham; directed by Ulu Grosbard ###boldend###

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