What Are the Five Best Movies About Siblings?

Slate's Culture Blog
June 16 2012 10:45 AM

Top Five Movies About Siblings

Still of Mia Farrow, Barbara Hershey, and Dianne Wiest in Hannah and Her Sisters

© Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Dana Stevens says that the new film Your Sister's Sister "feels quietly radical, as if its director, Lynn Shelton, were reinventing romantic comedy." On the occasion of its release, Brow Beat asked Shelton to name her five favorite movies about siblings.


Forget favorite "sibling" movie; this is one of my favorite movies ever, period. Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo are completely delightful as a sister and brother who end up defying their own expectations and assumptions about both themselves and each other. Thank you, writer/director Kenneth Lonergan, for showing us how it's done.

I was slightly obsessed with this lovely Nicole Holofcener film about the tangled lives of neighbors when it came out a couple of years ago. The contrast in personalities between its two sisters—played by Amanda Peet and Rebecca Hall—is stark, which makes the bond between them that much more poignant.

Laura Linney plays a sister forced to reluctantly join forces with her brother played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, when their ailing father requires their attentions. The result is a moving and resonant dramatic comedy from the incredibly talented Tamara Jenkins.

I love how the sibling relationship in this John Hughes film starts in classic cinematic rivalry mode, but ultimately redeems itself as love softens the heart of Jennifer Grey's embittered sister to Matthew Broderick in his iconic role.

Deftly acted and elegantly captured, this is the mother of all sister movies, in my book. The cast (led by Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, and Barbara Hershey) is simply superb and Woody Allen never condemns any of his characters, allowing us to love and forgive each of these siblings, whatever missteps they might take along the way.


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