"Brothers": seeking expiation

Natalie Portman in USA Today, photo by Todd Plitt.

"Right now, that life is based in Los Angeles, where Portman relocated this year and bought a house in May. She made the move to have more privacy and live where she works. And though Portman is still renting a place in downtown Manhattan, for now, her heart belongs to California."It's great. The sun. Nature. And more privacy. Here (in New York), there's no private outdoor space. Here, you walk into a coffee shop and someone tweets that you're there. There, at least you can be in your backyard or your friends' backyard." Source: www.usatoday.com

"In Afghanistan, meanwhile, Sam is forced to make a horrible, torturous choice. And then, miraculously, he's freed. Grace and the girls are elated, of course. So is Tommy. So is everyone.But something's wrong. Sam isn't the same. We know he's haunted by guilt. It eats at him constantly. And he is wracked by jealousy, convinced that Tommy and Grace had an affair.To see Sam disintegrate is unnerving. To see his girls watch it happen is heartbreaking. They don't understand what's happened, of course - no one does. Sam won't say, and it's killing him. They only know it's a lot happier when Uncle Tommy is around.Portman is excellent as a woman quietly navigating a wrenching set of circumstances. Grace loves Sam, but she doesn't know how to help him. Gyllenhaal also is outstanding as a man adrift finally finding mooring, only to have the situation change in the time it takes for Grace to answer the phone.Maguire, too, is good in a tricky role. At times, he flirts with going too far with Sam's falling apart, too over the top. That's what I thought at first, anyway". Source: www.azcentral.com

"The reason Brothers works as well as it does is because it takes the time to introduce the characters and never loses sight that the story is about their changes and how those alterations impact their relationships with others. The movie's message emerges naturally through the narrative - it is not represented by a tacked-on homily or awkward speech. Sheridan does not say war is evil, but he makes it clear that the dead aren't the only casualties of conflicts. Just because a soldier is back on the ground in the United States does not mean he or she is "safe." When Sam pleads with his commanding officer to return to Afghanistan following his "resurrection," his reasons are clear - the only connection he retains is to the ugliness half-a-world away. He seeks expiation, perhaps through death, and it's something he cannot find in the pleasantly domestic setting represented by his wife, children, and brother. This is a rich, thoughtful, challenging motion picture, and one of 2009's best." Source: www.reelviews.net