I was convinced I had to see the film after seeing an interview with Natalie Portman on David Letterman. When discussing the film, Letterman had true passion in his voice when he said it was one of the best films of the past decade. Portman was very humbled by Letterman's response and you could tell she agreed with him that the film was special. And she appeared truly honored to have been part of the film. I now understand why.
So when The Wrap offered a screening last night, I jumped on it. I'm glad I did. Brothers is a quiet, intimate journey with a family as they deal with the homecoming of one son (Jake Gyllenhaal) from prison and the departure of another (Tobey Maguire) to war. We are then swept up in the lives of these characters as they deal with the absence of the man at war who is a son, brother, husband, and father. The effects of his absence resonate through the entire family and Sheridan takes the time to really explore these effects on each and every character -- his brother, wife (Portman), his two kids, and his father (Shepard) and stepmother (Mare Winningham).
Brothers is the exact kind of film that is being threatened by the independent film collapse. Sure, it helps that the cast is big and wonderful and Jim Sheridan has a fan base of his own. It may also help that it is a remake of a Danish film of the same name. But, in general, dramatic films of this nature are being wiped out by reluctant investors and distributors. So please go support this beautiful film -- for the sake of your own careers as indie filmmakers. You won't regret it.