Sister My Sister

Director: Nancy Meckler

This impressive film debut by theatre director Nancy Meckler is based on the same famous story which inspired Jean Genet’s The Maids. Julie Walters, in a remarkable ‘no laughs’ performance, plays the domineering Madame Danzard, who lives in the most claustrophobic provinciality with her awkward daughter Isabelle (played with great panache by Sophie Thursfield). Their household is maintained to the highest standards by their maid (Joely Richardson, uncanninly resembling a young Vanessa Redgrave), but their tredious upstairs/downstairs world is disturbed by the arrival of the maid’s younger sister (Jodhi May). As attention to duty breaks down, the two sisters develop a sexual relationship, and one that, given the constraints imposed by Madame Danzard, pushes them to extremes. Incest between sister is a complex subject which Meckler tackles assuredly and realises beautifully in every detail. The perfornances by the four actresses are simply outstanding.

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