SYNOPSIS: Capt. Sam Cahill deploys to Afghanistan and is presumed dead, leaving his recently-paroled younger brother, Tommy, to comfort Sam's wife.
In my last entry for "Armored", I poked at the late season Oscar drama hopefuls. Of course, from my blog you know I watch pretty much everything I can get my hands on. In fact, this weekend I watched Peter Weir's "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and "The Efficiency Expert (Spotswood)" with Anthony Hopkins and Russell Crowe.
In "Brothers", Tobey Maquire plays Capt. Sam Cahill the week before his redeployment to Afghanistan. Jake Gyllenhaal plays Sam's brother, Tommy, on the day of his release from prison. Both brothers are the opposite sides of the same upbringing by a harsh, alcoholic ex-military father. As Sam ships off, Tommy struggles to find his identity amidst the shadow of his brother's accomplishments and the expectations of his father. Natalie Portman plays Sam's wife, Grace, who struggles with keeping her family together when she is told that Sam has died in a helicopter crash.
I could mention Sam Shepard as the father, Hank Cahill, or Mare Winningham as Hank's second wife because this movie is all about the story and the performances. The story is based on Susanne Bier's film "Brodre", and proves that the hardships of war and family are not an American exclusivity. The entire cast delivers stellar entries and the most poignant moments are delivered by 10 year old Bailee Madison as Cahill daughter, Isabelle and by Tobey Maguire throughout the film.
The film is filled with quiet family moments, confrontations on the family dynamics, rigors and nightmare reality of a war we still fight, and their lasting effects to husbands, mothers, sons, brothers and daughters.
Worth: Matinee and DVD