Your Sister's Sister

Your Sister's Sister

What with the release of The Five Year Engagement last week and now indie crossover hit Your Sister’s Sister, Emily Blunt is having a proper moment in the spotlight.

In Your Sister’s Sister she plays Iris, the best friend of Jack (Mark Duplass, Cyrus) who also secretly fancies him. 

Jack’s just lost his brother and so takes Iris up on her offer of a reflective week of solitude at her family's remote island retreat. But when he gets there, Jack discovers that Iris' sister Hannah (Mad Men’s Rosemarie DeWitt) has just split up with her long term partner and had also wanted to get away from it all.

The two lonely strangers spend a tequila-fuelled night together somewhat ruined by Iris turning up out of the blue and freaking the odd couple out.

In honour of Emily Blunt and Rosemarie DeWitt’s awesome turn as warring siblings, we look at the pantheon of sisters on the silver screen .

- Rachel Getting Married (2008)

Jonathan Demme’s indie drama won Anne Hathaway her first Oscar nomination in 2009 thanks to her portrayal of Kym, Rachel’s (Rosemarie DeWitt ) rehab-prone and somewhat estranged sister.

With Rosemarie DeWitt taking the supporting role as Rachel, the film shows Kym as she takes leave from rehab to attend her sister’s wedding and finds out that Rachel hasn’t chosen her as the maid of honour.

A plot equally measured in tragedy and resolution unfurls but ultimately Rachel Getting Married is a touching story of enduring sisterly love - tumultuous twists conspire to tear them apart throughout the film, with a dramatic finale that makes this one of the most affecting films of the last few years.

- What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962)

This classic movie starred screen legends  and enemies, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis in a psychological thriller that spawned the ‘psycho-biddy’ sub-genre.

Crawford plays Baby Jane, once a vaudevillian child star who even had a doll made in her image, but fails to turn that success into a bountiful career - as she moves into adulthood, her star dies and a descent into alcoholism ensues.

The story of her sister, Blanche (played by Davis), is the reverse: after a childhood of watching Baby Jane from the sidelines, Blanche manages to build a successful acting career for herself, but it’s brought to a premature end after a car accident leaves her bed-ridden.

It’s fertile ground for a twisted sibling rivalry as Blanche is left to rely on Jane, who now bitterly resents her success and still longs for the limelight. To say that it all ends in tears is an understatement of epic proportions.

- The Other Boleyn Girl (2008)

Based on the historical novel of the same name, The Other Boleyn Girl recounts the alleged dalliances of Henry VIII with Mary Boleyn, the sister of whom would later become a Queen of England and one of the King’s doomed wives.

Somewhat unbelievably, Scarlet Johansson is Mary and Natalie Portman is Anne, and the story charts the King’s changing fancies sometime one then the other.

Fans of period dramas such as Pride and Prejudice will find themselves in familiar territory with The Other Boleyn Girl and, as far as sisterly relationships go, they don’t come much more conflicting than this.

- Practical Magic (1998)

Sisters don’t get much more troublesome than a pair of sibling witches, and films don’t get much more typical of the 90s than Practical Magic. With Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman in their acting heydays, this 1998 flick had box office success written all over it.

But it was not to be - Practical Magic failed to retrieve its $75 million budget by hauling in $68 million at the box office, while critics were even more brutal in their take on this tale of witchcraft and family values (think Little Women meets The Witches of Eastwick).

But it holds a special place in our hearts and makes our list nonetheless for Sally and Gillian Owens’ (Bullock and Kidman respectively) black comedy in their quest to find love, despite a curse that causes the men of all Owens women to prematurely meet their maker in freakish circumstances.

- Sister Act

Okay, we couldn’t resist it. Whoopi Goldberg in one of her most feel-good roles converts from a down-on-her-luck lounge singer to a nun under the witness protection program after her mobster boyfriend sets out to kill her for knowing too much.

The result is thrills, spills, and a whole lot of comedy as Delores Claiborne (Goldberg) corrupts the sisterhood in all the right ways thanks to a streetwise attitude and low threshold for boredom in the face of dogmatic principles.

Sister Act would spawn a sequel where viewers would gain their first look at rising star, Lauryn Hill before her breakout success with The Fugees. The songstress appeared to have a talent for acting too although, admittedly, she’s always been more impressive behind a mic than a camera.

Your Sister’s Sister is in cinemas, Friday, 29th June.