Directed by Zach Clark
October, 2008. Young nun Colleen is avoiding all contact from her family, until an email from her mother announces, “Your brother is home.” On returning to her childhood home in Asheville, NC, she finds her old room exactly how she left it: painted black and covered in goth/metal posters. Her parents are happy enough to see her, but unease and awkwardness abounds. Her brother is living as a recluse in the guesthouse since returning home from the Iraq war. During Colleen’s visit, tensions rise and fall with a little help from Halloween, pot cupcakes, and GWAR. Little Sister is a sad comedy about family – a schmaltz-free, pathos-drenched, feel good movie for the little goth girl inside us all.
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★★★★ review by davidehrlich on Letterboxd
So many low-budget American indies are about stunted twentysomethings who return to their childhood homes in order to achieve some great personal catharsis, but so few of them understand what home really means, or know how to find it. It’s been more than a decade since “Garden State” enshrined that template for a new generation of filmmakers, yet Zach Clark’s weird, winsome, and wonderful “Little Sister” is one of the few movies that has used it to tell a story that feels indivisibly true to itself.
★★★½ review by brat pitt on Letterboxd
kinda made me miss my emo phase so that's not good
★★★★ review by Leticia Fernandes on Letterboxd
I love falling in love with a film
★★★★ review by Milez Das on Letterboxd
Colleen is called back from her nun duty by her mom since her brother is back. As we take this journey with Colleen, we see her relationship with her mother, why she decided to become a nun, her bond with her brother. The little things she likes, the smile she has that makes everything okay and the goth, metal and past phase of it.
We see Colleen looking back at the videos made with her brother. The nostalgia she goes through. The beauty of the movie comes through when she tries to cheer her brother up. Going back to the goth phase of her life, coloring her pink, putting on black lipstick, make up. Then dancing on tunes. Taking a walk, talking about her experiences as nun.
There is a strain in her relationship with her mother. Even though they both love each other very much, the suicide attempt by her mother has taken a toll on Colleen. Then, her parents taking doing weed. Colleen just wanted a structure to her life.
You can see how her mother tries to make the last moments with Colleen before she leaves to take her vows. Everything here is beautifully, dark and everyone just trying their best to do with whatever they can.
Addison Timlin is just an revelation here. I have seen her in many roles previously like in Californication or That Awkward Moment. But here as Colleen she just surprises you in every way possible. She is funny, cute and that smile is to die for.
Little Sister is about love, structure, nostalgia and just trying the best we could.
★★★★ review by Leo (Willem) van der Zanden 🔥⬇🏠 on Letterboxd
Utterly crazy, but equally as heartwarming. A much more faithful and at the same time unorthodox interpretation of dysfunctional families and the quirks life brings to them. In Little Sister a novice nun returns to her family home after she found out her brother returned from the war. This brother, hiding in a garden shed with almost all of his face burned off, together with the girl's drug abusing parents serve as the perfect twist her life didn't need. As soon as she gets back in touch with them, her former life comes back to her, her wild gothic days.
At first it might seem like a heavy-handed and highly cliched tale of contrasting character goals, with a combination of out-of-the-blue characters to top it off. But if that's all you see in this you are merely seeing the mask this film puts on, because just like its characters it's the underlying emotions that eventually take front stage in this little, but oh-so rewarding film. The simple fact that it actually does take on such clear cliches with so much sincerity, the fact that it takes some much appreciated time to tell these things, doesn't rush anything but lets the whole thing simmer till it boils into the next hilariously unsuspecting moment is a great feat for such a small work. A true example of what indie film can do in its most wonderful of forms.
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