My Sister Maria
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Eighteen years after his acclaimed 1984 documentary on Marlene Dietrich, actor/director Maximilian Schell has created another moving portrait of a German-speaking actress, this time his own sister. Meine Schwester Maria documents the rapid rise and decline of Maria Schell, the briefly beloved star of such films as Die Ratten and The Brothers Karamosov. Using excerpts of her feature films along with home movie footage, Schell explores the high points his sister's career throughout the 1950s, as well as the personal problems that cast her into obscurity only a decade later. The film offers… More
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© TLA Releasing
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's not easy to classify Maximilian Schell's occasionally clumsy but always touching tribute to his actress sister, and it's equally difficult not to be moved by it."
‑ Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times
"Aa heartfelt but eccentric, pseudo-documentary."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Fascinating documentary on the celebrated Austrian actress."
‑ Phil Hall, Film Threat
"My Sister Maria is a strange bouquet, a sort of pre-memorial."
‑ David Elliott, San Diego Union-Tribune
"It is meant to be a loving and sad portrait of a fading life, but it feels intrusive, excessively brooding and narcissistic."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
"Maximilian's narcissistic examination of his theatrical family -- to the degree that he shows us photos of ancestors even he doesn't know -- can be boring, and his creative license with the truth is kind of troubling."
‑ Janice Page, Boston Globe
"It's unpleasantly bitter (Maximilian had to sell his art collection to keep her out of the poorhouse and he's not happy about it), rather ghoulish, supremely depressing and, considering her condition, a criminal invasion of the woman's privacy."
‑ William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Feels less like a tribute and more like a chance for Maximilian to play the caring savior."
‑ Paul Sherman, Boston Herald
"Bbrave, heartless, and exceedingly strange."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"A thoughtful look backward, a summing up that attempts to understand what is ephemeral and what truly lasts, what it is that matters in the final analysis."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"It's difficult to witness the disintegration of a personality; unfortunately, watching My Sister Maria inspires the question, 'Why was this film made?'"
‑ Jean Lowerison, San Diego Metropolitan
More reviews for My Sister Maria on Rotten Tomatoes