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"Beloved Sisters": Even an Aristocratic Menage Gets Complicated 

Wednesday, Jan 7 2015
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The concept of "need" is a tricky one at best, since after food, clothing, and shelter, none of us truly need anything, particularly as it relates to movies. Therefore, the question of whether Dominic Graf's costume drama romance Beloved Sisters needs to be three hours long is an academic one on many levels, not least of which is the fact that it is indeed three hours long so we might as well deal with it. During the German Enlightenment, Caroline von Beulwitz (Hannah Herszsprung) and her sister Charlotte von Lengefeld (Henriette Confurius) both fall in lust with hunky writer Friedrich Schiller (Florian Stetter), a situation only somewhat complicated by the fact that Caroline is already unhappily married in order to support Charlotte and their mother. Caroline, Charlotte, and Friedrich make the (historically hypothetical) sexytimes work between the three of them, until it doesn't. Though much of it is shot in Barry Lyndon-esque natural lighting, Beloved Sisters tries otherwise to be very modern in its filmmaking, with occasionally fancy camera work and use of credits and intertitles that sorta float around like screensavers for reasons probably known only to Graf. Maybe it's because one of the most interesting plot threads is the steady advance in printing technology throughout their lifetimes, which ultimately ends up being a more compelling story.

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Sherilyn Connelly

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