It is a discrete film that has neither the means nor desire to be seen. to measure up to “Die can wait”, the 25e James Bond adventure, with Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux, 700 copies of which will monopolize French screens on October 6. “Little Sister”, by Lausanne-based Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond will be released on the same day, but without stunts and in a handful of venues. We want to give it a tiny chance of being seen. Because it is rare in its delicacy, and full of emotion. Carried, moreover, by an exceptional cast: Nina Hoss, Lars Eidinger, the great Marthe Keller, Jens Albinus and Thomas Ostermeier, the director of the Schaubühne of Berlin and brilliant director of “Richard III” and of “Hamlet”.
He is also seen in his theater at the beginning: Ostermeier recites the tragedy of Shakespeare with his troupe when, from the twilight emerges Sven (Lars Eidinger), the gay star and actor who was his Hamlet before. to fall seriously ill. Sven is very sick from myeloidleukemia. He comes out of the hospital in a blonde hair. Sven barely stands up, but wants to believe himself capable of taking over the role of Hamlet (which he really played in the Schaubühne) and of proclaiming, once again, “To be or to not be, that is the question.”
Lisa begs the Berlin director for one last chance to play the fool Prince of Denmark and to die on stage under Claudius’ sword. Ostermeier or his character refuses to play the role. “Showing off a dying actor is obscene. “Lisa will give up her family to be there for her twin, and promise to write him a monologue based on “Hansel and Gretel”. Finally, Lisa will protect her mother (Marthe Keller), an actress. it drowns out its bitterness, denial and alcohol.
“Little Sister” is a beautiful, serious and rebellious film, where life merges with the theater, where death rises to the sky in a paraglider, where the shadow of Patrice Chéreau hovers and where it is said that « sIf you take the stage from an actor, you kill him more surely than any disease ”. On the set of “La Petite Chambre”, their first film, Stéphanie Chuat and Véronique Reymond had heard Michel Bouquet, 95, whisper to them: “An actor is only alive when he is playing. “
Published in L’OBS on September 30, 2021.