Brothers, a movie about a military family torn apart by a son/husband/brother's disappearance starts strong with a compelling plot. Natalie Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal (with whom she has around 10 times the chemistry as she did with Tobey Maguire) explore the roles of their characters and their taboo romance with a graceful subtlety. The father-son relationship with Gyllenhaal's character often seems a bit too contrived, with the idea that Gyllenhaal will never achieve as much as his brother driven deep into the ground. The great performances really come out when Maguire returns from war a distant, PTSD suffering veteran. Best of all (and the main reason to see the movie) is the incredible performace given by Baillee Madison, 11 years old, who plays Maguire and Portman's daughter Isabelle. One of the best child performances I've ever seen, and reason enough to watch the film. I predict an acting force to be reckoned with in the future. A smart point of the movie is the unwillingness to reveal the exact extent of Portman and Gyllenhaal's relationship, which leaves the viewer up to decide. The device of "let the viewer decide" gets used a bit too much for my liking, however, and the movie ends too abruptly on a "what does the future hold for them?" kind of note. There's a bit too much Hollywood artifice for this to fly as a military slice of life look, so the ending seems like a bit of a cop-out.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to the movies so I thought I indulge in a film that I knew would be intense. I figured I couldn’t go wrong with a film starring Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. Right off the bat I have to say the trailer makes you think this movie is a cross between, Jarhead, in that it deals with Marines, Pearl Harbor, because the “dead soldier” is never really dead and come back home, and Psycho, nice guy goes nuts … more
We are all familiar with the stories about the soldiers who return from a war, that they become someone quite different from who they were before. War is hell, and the things soldiers have to go through often test the limits of human endurance. Director Jim Sheridan’s “BROTHERS” is based on the Danish film “Brodre” (2004) by Susanne Bier. The film chronicles the effects of war on the human psyche and how some soldiers may not be able to return to a normal … more
Brothers is a 2009 drama/war film starring Tobey Maguire, Jake Gyllenhaal and Natalie Portman. Directed by Jim Sheridan, the film is based on Susanne Bier's 2004 Danish film Brødre which takes place in Afghanistan and Denmark. Both films take inspiration from Homer's epic poem The Odyssey.