Friday, December 04, 2009

Brothers and Brødre

Has anyone ever remade a film that you absolutely love? It can be odd to remove yourself from the familiar original while watching the shiny and new. Presumably not many people will have this problem with Brothers though I’ll admit up front that I did. This new war-at-home drama is adapted from a little seen Danish film of the same name. Natalie Portman plays Grace Cahill, a young mother and wife whose husband Sam (Tobey Maguire) has been assumed dead in Afghanistan. We know that he actually survived but Grace doesn’t and in the fog of grief discovers budding feelings for her brother-in-law Tommy (Jake Gyllenhaal), an ex-con, who begins to bloom when he takes over as man of the house. When Sam returns from war, with post traumatic stress problems, serious complications, tears and family drama arrive with him.

...more in my weekly column at Towleroad
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14 comments:

Paul Outlaw said...

Nat, what did you think of the older little girl? I thought she was great. (Liked Jake too.) And the dinner table scenes (especially the later one) were well played and directed, no?

Cristhian said...

Knowing that "Some Like It Hot" is a remake from a German movie just kills my argument that movies just should NOT be remade. But the most painful, unnecessary remake of a movie I absolutely love was probably "Les Diaboliques"... Still hurts.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

The movies I absolutely love that get remade are horror films, like Halloween and The Wolf Man. I hated the former and am beginning to get nervous about the latter. Brodre is now available on NetFlix Instant Watch, btw.

joy said...

Didn't like this American version at all.

Loved “The Departed”. I think it's better than "Internal Affair".

Also loved "New Dragon Gate Inn" with Maggie Cheung and Brigitte Lin.

gabrieloak said...

I thought The Departed was way inferior to the original source.

I haven't seen the Danish original but I'm glad I saw Brothers. The acting was good all around. Not a great film but worth seeing.

The Messenger is even better, though.

Chris Na Taraja said...

OMG What german film was SOME LIKE IT HOT based on? Didn't know that?

NATHANIEL R said...

@Paul -- i loved the older girl (i even talked to her mom to tell her so at that Brothers party i attended, the one with the Jake photo)

Alex said...

Ever since it came out, I've always used "All the King's Men" (2006) as proof that no one (Sean Penn, Anthony Hopkins, Kate Winslet, Patricia Clarkson among others) can pull off a remake.

DL said...

I just got back from seeing this and although I thought it was mostly unremarkable, I'm thrilled to see our reaction to the young actress who played Sam and Grace's oldest daughter. Thought she was wonderful, and she played that dinner table scene near the end beautifully.

anna said...

Chris Na Taraja,
The German film "Some Like It Hot" is based on is called "Fanfaren der Liebe" and was released in 1951. I haven't seen it, but the director Kurt Hoffmann also directed "Das Wirtshaus im Spessart" (starring an extremely charming Liselotte Pulver), which I've loved ever since first seeing it as a child. :)

Jose said...

I happen to love Peter Jackson's remake of "King Kong". Technically it stands next to the original one, at least in terms of innovation.
It's flawed yeah, but even the flaws brim with pure love of cinema (the whole pit attack scene...)
And Naomi Watts gave the best female performance of that year.
Too bad she always goes on so unnoticed, she should be on her fourth Best Actress nomination by now.

sphinx said...

I watched the original Danish one way back when because Leonard Maltin (I think) called it the best film of the year. Besides, I have an affinity for 'slow' foreign language films.

Eric Davidson said...

I thought 'Brothers' was amazing all around, great storytelling in particular - the director went from one point to the next without messing around

Richter Scale said...

By "older little girl" are you guys referring to Bailee Madison? I haven't seen the film, but I've seen her in other stuff. She really impressed me in Bridge to Terabithia (you should see that Nat, you might like it), and I've seen her in episodes of Unfabulous and a Drake & Josh movie, she's quite good. I'm glad to see she's expanding, and it's great you got to talk to her mom. I'm hoping she was nice about it, and I look forward to seeing more of this little girl (though I might have to see Brothers first to see her performance).