It makes sense why “The Sisters Brothers” has enjoyed widespread release.
Joaquin Phoenix’s performance in the film indicates why he will make a great Joker (he will star in “Joker,” scheduled for Oct. 2019). You may struggle to see Riz Ahmed beyond Bodhi Rook of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” though, especially if you are a “Star Wars” fan.
And a message offered to conclude the film is simple but potent.
As Charlie Sisters, Phoenix is a man who his brother, Eli Sisters (John C. Reilly), says killed their father.
So he is not a good guy.
Neither is The Joker.
Additionally, Phoenix is quirky in a great way in playing Sisters.
The Joker is definitely quirky.
As Hermann Kermit Warm, Ahmed does a good job, but because “Rogue One” is so appreciated, I wonder if he will have a hard time escaping being typecast.
Not that he isn’t making a valiant effort to avoid that, as he has been or will be in eight productions in just more than a year-and-a-half since “Rogue One” was released. (That includes the popular “Girls” TV series, comic-book adaptation “Venom” and Shakespeare-play adaptation “Hamlet.”)
Warm is also a little forgettable as a character.
A message suggested by the end of the film is that it is sometimes best to stay where you are.
The Sisters brothers, as much as anyone, were part of the movement westward in the United States in the mid-1800s. They went to Oregon in the film’s expression of the Oregon Trail and the brothers participated in the gold rush in California.
But by returning home to mom, they are satisfied. (Especially Eli Sisters, especially, as he has a smile on his face while being in bed at home.)
The movement westward saw this in contrasts between The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Community of Christ. One was part of that movement, going west as Oregon Trail and gold rush participants did. But eventual Community of Christ members remained in Illinois.
The Sisters Brothers had to escape for their lives, let alone did they lose things, despite going to Oregon and being part of the gold rush. LDS church members were privy to a theocracy.
The film seems to be saying that you may have it better where you already are.
The film is a little slow, but that’s being nitpicky: director Jacques Audiard was smart to adopt Patrick deWitt’s novel, as deWitt was brilliant to have a story that expresses that movement westward. (That’s beside the play on words in the title after deWitt named the protagonists.)