The serene magic of “My Little Sister,” the Swiss Oscar entry, is the cumulative effect. There’s nothing spectacular about this film, written and directed by Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond, other than a view of the Alps and one of the heart-stopping parachutes of the parasailing series. And there is nothing extraordinary about the plot, although the complications of marriage around the edges may, at the hands of less talented filmmakers, have distracted attention from the center of the story about Lisa (Nina Hoss), a famous playwright who suffers from writer’s block, and sister twins. , Sven (Lars Eidinger), a famous actor who is dying of leukemia. Even so, each moment reinforces the essence of drama – the bond of love between two people who leave their mother’s womb within seconds of each other. (For playdates in physical and virtual theaters, go to filmmovement.com/my-little-sister.)
There are geographic complications too. Berlin is where Lisa and Sven grew and made their reputation, and where Sven was hospitalized. But Lisa is tied to Switzerland, where her husband, Martin (Jens Albinus), serves as headmaster of an expensive and grand international school. (The supposed school grand piano Stravinsky used to compose “The Rite of Spring.”) What’s more, Sven needed home care and wasn’t available in Berlin, because his sibling’s birth mother, Kathy (veteran Swiss actress Marthe Keller), was so far away from Florence Nightingale: “I can’t stand to see you squander like this!” she told her son who was very ill. So Sven joins his sister in a postcard-like beauty near Montreux, although the action changes as things change.
Her working condition, as well as her medical condition – Sven is determined to make her final appearance as Hamlet in a Berlin stage production directed by ex-husband Lisa. Complications, as I said, but also opportunities for the two stars to put on a dazzling appearance.
Of the two, Mr. Eidinger is less well known outside of Europe, but he is a revelation in a role without emotional boundaries. Sven is frantic, feverish, lively, bends occasionally, very funny, very intelligent; he claims to memorize every word “Hamlet,” and you believe him.
It’s very tempting to call Ms. Hoss with a known number; she’s always been in high demand and was recently seen as a music teacher in 2019’s “The Audition”. But you never know what she’s going to do, and how strong she does it is a mystery that continues. Many stars are classically prettier, although her beauty, like the gravity of her attitude, deepens with age. One thing he does with a special focus is watching, as well as listening; his watchful presence in a scene intensified the presence of those around him.