Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Brothers.......and Sisters

I finally saw one of the movies on my "to see before the Oscars" list last night.  My very good friend CC (as opposed to my other very good friend CG) and I ventured to "Dollar Tuesday" night at our local discount movie theater to see "Brothers". 

I would definitely put this movie in the class, in the words of my fellow blogger Laura at Decor to Adore, of "full price worthy".  CC and I had tried to see the movie when it first hit the big screens, but could not get to it before it disappeared from sight.  We have been stalking the discount theater listings each week since.

I had heard people saying that Tobey McGuire's performance in this movie had been snubbed and had not gotten a nomination for Best Actor in this year's Oscars.  The Writer had told me how impressed he was by his performance and was sure he would draw a nomination.  Well, I have to agree that his portrayal of a returning Marine, declared dead after his unit was shot down in Afghanistan, was simply wrenching and believable.  Natalie Portman portrays his grieving, then shocked and helpless wife.  Jake Gyllenhaal earnestly plays the "black sheep" brother trying to get his life back on track after a stint in jail by helping his sister-in-law and her children cope with the death of their husband/father. McGuire's character has trouble adjusting to his old life and becomes dangerous to his family.  His character was always the steady influence between the two brothers and the roles are reversed as he becomes unhinged and his brother steps in to protect the family, while letting his brother know he will always be there for him.

It is a story for our times with our troops' presence in hostile areas of the world and their sometimes difficult adjustment to their lives back home.  It is also a good story about family support and sibling loyalty.

I remember when my kids were very young I read an interview with Jackie Onassis.  The interviewer asked her what she was most proud of in her life, and her answer was that her children had grown up to be friends with each other.  At the time that answer depressed me.  My kids were at the stage where every car ride was a torture session and Mr. Tennis and I had resorted to putting up a cardboard wall between them in the back seat. 

I would think back to the early days when The Writer was a smitten older brother and The Maven would look at him with adoration and want to be just like him.

The Writer, 4 years old
The Maven, 2 weeks old

She was always looking up to him and he was fascinated by her.

See, they looked happy enough. 

She wanted to do everything he did including taking care of his hermit crab, Fred.

He started keeping a closer eye on her as she got older and more of a threat. :-)

Then they developed their own interests and friendships.  The time they spent together as they grew older seemed less fraught with whining and teasing.  The cardboard divider went away, they invented clever games to keep themselves entertained in the backseat. The video camera became their tool as they crafted talkshows, commercials and short movies.  They played basketball together.

They started doing weird stuff with their hair and laughing together in a conspiratorial fashion. Do I sound paranoid?

In the end they have become friends, support for each other.  So, Jackie O, I despaired for naught.  I know now, just like you did at the time of that interview, that my kids will be there for each other in the future. 
That was one of the chords that struck me in the movie -  that no matter what those brothers had been through, whether they fought as kids, disagreed as adults, they would ultimately be there for one another. And I've seen that with my own children as they have grown into pretty great adults.

  This has been somewhat self-indulgent, but I am very proud of the people my kids have become, by their choice.  Again, I am a proud Mom.

The Maven and her brother, The Writer.  Los Angeles, summer 2009. 


Orlando Grandma said...

I'm on my way to"el cheapo" movie house" that how we call the Promenade. to see Brothers.
What a great blog you worte incorporating the kids brother, sister relationship. I had a good one with my brother and sister too I am lucky.

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

I had wanted to see this movie and POOF it was gone. It is now in my netfix que. Can't wait.

The_Tyro said...

yes it was a good movie and yes the "writer" is one of my best friends

eggzachary said...

Hahaaaaa. Waddup Tyro?

Lindsey said...

that movie was amazing! performances amazing! pictures of the maven and writer....AMAZING!