October, 2008. Young nun Colleen (Addison Timlin) is avoiding all contact from her family, until an email from her mother (Ally Sheedy) 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.


What We Thought:

Little Sister is a quaint, little indie film with a strong lead performance and smart writing. We need more of these smaller films to balance out the big, bang, boom blockbusters that get thrown in our faces.

Addison Timlin has been around for a bit, but I can’t say I’m overly familiar with her. She’s pretty fantastic in this. She plays a nun that left North Carolina for New York to escape her family and the life she didn’t fit in to. She returns home when her mother emails her saying that her brother is home from the war.

This is where the film shines. It accurately portrays small town life with different characters extremely well. Ally Sheedy plays the mother who smokes weed and drinks too much and just doesn’t understand her daughter who went from goth to nun. The father is just enjoying his daughter being home, but also struggles with her choices of being a vegetarian and giving her life to God. Her brother is scarred from war and doesn’t want to face the life around him including his girlfriend and old friends. Every character fits a role that tells the entire story.

Timlin gives a breakthrough performance as she deals with her parents and wants to show her brother it’s going to be ok and that they can still have a bond together. While home she dresses up in her goth ways and hangs out with her brother and an old friend. Timlin grabs your attention and holds it throughout the film. I hope to see more of her after this.

Little Sister is smart, well made and well acted. It reminded me of films like Little Miss Sunshine, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and Juno which all used ensemble casts to tell the story around one main character. I quite liked the film especially Timlin.


Bonus Features:

  • Deleted and Extended Scenes
  • Home Videos
  • “Pro-Star Entertainment” Commercial
  • Excerpts from Rock & Roll Eulogy (2004), Zach Clark’s debut feature
  • Q&A with Ally Sheedy & Zach Clark, hosted by Peter Travers
  • Trailer

Cast & Crew:

  • Addison Timlin
  • Ally Sheedy
  • Keith Poulson
  • Peter Hedges
  • Kristin Slaysman
  • Molly Plunk
  • Barbara Crampton


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