Sister Review

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Taunted by the wealth on display at the Swiss ski resort where his sister works, a sly teenager (Kacey Mott Klein) – who has never known his parents – survives on hope, pasta and petty crime.

★★★★

Martin Compston speaking French is just one surprise in this smart, sweet slice of European realism, as brisk and bracing as the air on the Swiss ski-slopes where it's set. Remarkable young newcomer Kacey Mott Klein plays wiry, light-fingered scamp Simon, who preys on hapless tourists to supplement his hard day-to-day existence with his loose-living sister/guardian (Lea Seydoux, never better), who's little more than a kid herself. It's their complex relationship that gives this snowbound story, exquisitely shot by the great Agnès Godard, its warmth; if the Dardenne brothers could laugh now and again, they'd make something like this.

Neither sentimental nor wrist-slittingly glum, Ursula Meier's fresh, affecting study of an unsteady family in society's margins lives up to its festival plaudits