The Three Sisters In Marion Bridge English Literature Essay Free Essay

Shortly after the gap scenes of Marion Bridge I had the feeling that I have already seen a twelve of films go arounding around narratives like that. After all, such regretful narratives of damaged households seeking to get by with their hurting have ever been a favorite cinematic basic. Unfortunately, in malice of film writer Daniel MacIvor ‘s clear aspiration to construct suspense by unwraping information in little doses – for case, refering the character of the male parent or the individuality of the teenage girl – , the movie ‘s disclosures serve up no surprise for me. Somehow even the divulging of the darkest secret ( the parental incest ) , which decidedly could hold been an interesting turn in the movie, remained apathetic. To my oculus, it ‘s a commiseration that Marion Bridge – despite the fact that it has some highly good minutes – failed to do the best of its possible, as it follows a tested and tried secret plan construction and has an easy predictable narrative discharge.

However I truly appreciate that manager Wiebke von Carolsfeld managed to acquire across her thought: ‘to maintain the narrative existent, organic and simple ‘[ 1 ]. So although, in my sentiment, the narration could hold really easy devolve the movie into a mushy melodrama, Marion Bridge was able to stay a narrative of minor victory and mundane sorrows, which is ne’er sentimental or bathetic, but reflects existent play and temper.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!

order now

The other thing due to which – I think – Marion Bridge rises above the other movies of this genre is that it is – as one of the critics Stephen Holden put it – an “ finely acted ”[ 2 ]film with really chiseled characters. Thankss to the accurate portraiture of the characters and the twinkle and reasonable public presentations I ca n’t acquire this movie out of my caput. That is the ground why I chose Marion Bridge as an essay subject.

In the following subdivisions I ‘m traveling to concentrate largely on the characters of the three sisters, their dealingss to each other and I try to foreground the personality development they undergo. Furthermore, I ‘m traveling to discourse the public presentation of the histrions ( viz. Molly Parker, Rebecca Jenkins and Stacey Smith ) from an analytical point of view. Sometimes I pick some duologues from the movie or symbols to back up my thoughts.

Fictional characters

Wiebke von Carolsfeld defined her captivation with the characters in the following manner: ‘They ‘re fighting with themselves and the universe around them but they do it with such dash and energy and temper. I truly connected with them. They ‘re all conflicted in their ain ways ( aˆ¦ ) I ‘m forced to see myself in them. ‘[ 3 ]And at another clip she said: ‘I fell in love with this narrative every bit shortly as I read it. The characters have such a refreshing immediateness, are developed with honestness and lucidity and their really human failures and desires give each one of them room to breath and populate. They are compassionate and conflicted, loving yet profoundly flawed. I like and relate to them all ” .[ 4 ]I felt the same manner ; characters impressed me really much, as good.

So allow me present and analyze these carefully drawn portrays.

Agnes ( acted by Molly Parker )

Agnes is the rebellious youngest sister in the movie, through the eyes of whom the play is filtered. She fled to the large metropolis of Toronto many old ages ago, where she had a wild and suicidal life – she has a long history of intoxicant and drug maltreatment, furthermore she ‘s a chain-smoker. ( Apparently she inherited an disposition to suicide from her female parent. ) She ever cause a commotion whenever she returns place, go forthing others to clean up the muss.

However this clip the lapsing all-round bad miss – who returns place, because her female parent has been hospitalized – is despairing to confront down the shades of her yesteryear and act responsibly. ( In the movie Agnes ‘s dour finding to set everything right is represented by the ‘kitchen scene ‘ , in which she cleans up the kitchen and sorts out the odds and terminals and relics of the past – this sort of tyding up symbolizes that she besides tries to clean up her life and psyche. ) Besides these we know about her that she hides a black secret, which purportedly pushed her into a long spiral of suicide: as a adolescent she was sexually abused by her male parent, and had her kid, who is now a adolescent ( acted by Ellen Page ) populating nearby with a Foster female parent.

‘I idea you quit smoking. ‘

‘I discontinue a batch. ‘

So says Agnes to her older sister Theresa. I think this individual sentence condenses the chief motive of Agnes ‘s character – discontinuing all the clip. Discontinue life in the yesteryear, discontinue her hometown, or discontinue her dependences.

Otherwise during the movie it comes to illume that Agnes – in malice of what has happened in the past – is really non-judgemental towards his female parent ( named Rose ) : she even brought a flask of whisky from Toronto to ‘sweeten ‘ and ease her last yearss. Furthermore, she ‘s the one of the three sisters, who pushes to convey their female parent place, as she knows that Rose does n’t desire to decease in the infirmary, and offers to take charge of her attention. In my sentiment it turns out really imposingly how much Agnes attentions for and loves her female parent in the scene when she critiques Rose ‘s blush application, while squeezing her cheeks.

Theresa ( acted by Rebecca Jenkins )

Theresa is the oldest sister, who is a devoutA CatholicA and has late been dumped by her hubby for a younger adult female, but she still visits her ex-husband and ruminates over possible grounds for the dissolution. So it seems that she is stuck in a co-dependent relationship with her unfaithful hubby, and still cherishes hopes that they can snog and do up. She is steely and stiff – which might be explained by the fact that she had to travel back into the household house since her hubby left – , who assumes the function of household nag and moral justice and she seems to be emotionally withdrawn. Possibly she has a sufferer composite ( ‘everything is my mistake ‘ sing the tragic past occurrences and her wrecked matrimony ) , and she plays an overly maternal function.

Louise ( acted by Stacey Smith )

Louise is the recluse and disassociated in-between sister, who is a existent couch murphy: seemingly she does n’t make anything with her life, merely spends all twenty-four hours watching hockey on telecasting, drooping on the couch and blunting herself with debris nutrient. Her possible sapphism is ‘floated ‘ through the whole movie, so it ‘s non represented explicitly, and it serves as a subplot.

To sum it up, we can state that though one of the sisters left her hometown far behind a long clip ago, while the two other siblings ne’er strayed far from where they grew up, they have one thing is common: each of us is seeking to ‘digest ‘ the injury of their yesteryear in their ain dysfunctional ways. Agnes seeks redemption in drugs and intoxicant, Theresa takes shelter in the faith, and Louise tries to undertake her devils by withdrawing into privacy.

Or as one of the viewing audiences put it: ‘All three sisters are aching, and all have tried to hedge the hurting that is sleep togethering up their lives by insulating themselves from the others, emotionally, and, in Agnes ‘ instance, physically.A ‘[ 5 ]

Some critics even indicate out that the influence of Chekhov can be traced on Marion Bridge, as von Carolsfeld ‘s three live in the past merely like Chekhov ‘s celebrated “ Three Sisters ” . However, in contrast with them ‘they do n’t ache for it, nor do they hanker for the large metropolis. ‘[ 6 ]



The return of Agnes was greeted by intuition and bitterness on the portion of her sisters. Theresa and Louise neither believed that Agnes could bear the duty of caring for their female parent, nor did they believe that she has truly beaten her dependences. It made Agnes even more leery that she had ‘just cruising around the town ‘ many times without stating where she precisely was.

However as the play develops and Rose ‘s decease is impending, the sisters – populating under the same roof for the first clip since their childhood – start to happen ways and means to the others, and seek to larn how they can populate harmoniously with each other, which is – refering their different personalities – is a reasonably difficult undertaking.


As clip goes by, long-buried grudges come to come up peculiarly between Agnes and Theresa, who are now compelled to manage the dramatic incidents of the yesteryear in order to reconstruct their relationship.

The first measure in this rebuilding procedure, in my sentiment, is that Agnes – contradicting their sister ‘s prepossessions – does take attention Rose scrupulously. The other thing, which deeply impresses Theresa, is that Agnes accompanies her to church. From this minute on their relationship is on the right path. It is suggested by the scene, for illustration, when they are sitting and basking a fume in the backyard and stare at the really white side of their house. I picked this scene, as – to my head – it is one of the best composed scenes of the movie: first we see merely the dorsums of Theresa and Agnes and their faces reflected in the Windowss. This together with the fume can be interpreted as ‘a metaphor for the secrets held within ‘[ 7 ]. Furthermore, it decidedly shows von Carolsfeld ‘s obvious endowment for way.


Although the cardinal struggle lies between Agnes and Theresa, the plot line go arounding around Louise ‘s gender can be considered as a complementary subplot. In malice of all the tensenesss between Agnes and Louise, the younger sister rapidly observes Louise ‘s attractive force to a adult female, called Dorrie, and she tries to motivate it from the background. However, when the big-city miss attempts to agitate the small-town miss Louise out of her stagnations by ask foring Dorrie to dinner, the effort fails ( and the plot line is dropped here. ) Louise ‘s reaction can be interpreted in two ways: she behaved cold towards Dorrie, as she truly felt unattracted to her, or – and I think it ‘s more likely – she was embarrassed because of this state of affairs, as she is unable to accept her attractive force to adult females ( purportedly due to her Catholic instruction ) .

By the manner, near to the terminal of the movie Agnes and Louise have a conversation about Louise ‘going after what she wants ‘ . While Agnes thinks that this sentence may mention to Dorrie, at the terminal of the film it comes to light, that it is a amusing misinterpretation, as Louise did non touch to Dorrie, but a truck.


It is hard to qualify the relationship between the two stay-at-home sisters, as this yarn of the narrative is less exposed. What is certain is that right at the beginning of the tale both of them accepted Agnes ‘s return with modesty.

Taking into consideration all the above, it can be pointed out that all the three sisters have come a long manner in the class of the movie, and their relationship to each other has gone through several phases.

Marion Bridge ends with a rather optimistic scene: the sisters head towards the sea with a bran-new pickup, which symbols their household integrity, and that they have eventually accepted themselves, every bit good as, each other.


As I wrote it in the debut, to my oculus, the preponderantly female dramatis personae ‘s playing was first-class. Without exclusion all the actresses gave memorable public presentations.

‘Stacy Smith does an first-class occupation of portraying Louise ‘s bit by bit increasing self-awareness combined with her obvious uncomfortableness with emotional or physical familiarity. Rebecca Jenkins as her disapproving sister Theresa softens and complicates a function that could hold otherwise easy turned into the stereotype of the shrewish older sister.

But it is Molly Parker as Agnes who truly radiances in this movie. Although her character is clearly enduring a great trade, the minutes when Agnes rises above her ain hurting are genuinely breathtaking — I ‘ve ne’er seen an actress really glow as she does in a few scenes. And for a movie that is by and large really serious in tone, Parker brings occasional minutes of levity and heat that add a delicious bed of complexness to the movie. But possibly most singular is Parker ‘s ability to maintain Agnes from being merely another victim submerging her sorrows in imbibing and drugs — she insists on portraying Agnes as a adult female who has minutes of strength and honestness every bit good as impotence and denial ‘[ 8 ]– said a reappraisal, and I perfectly go along with it.

My personal front-runner was Parker ‘s character, who was the most precisely chiseled and has the deepest personality ( possibly because she was the cardinal figure ) . Furthermore, the film ‘s most polar minute can be bound to Parker: Agnes ‘s confront with her male parent. This is a really equivocal scene with more readings. One possible account could be that Agnes was looking to see if there was any flicker of acknowledgment on her male parent ‘s face when she gazed at him, but at that place was n’t any, since the individual she knew is long gone, as the old adult male standing before her was merely the wreckage of her male parent. Harmonizing to another reading Agnes was non looking for a confrontation, but to merely give his male parent a last opportunity to unbend things out or to atone his wickedness, merely like her female parent did before she died. Or if we approach it from another point of view, we could state that there was acknowledgment on the male parent ‘s portion, and as he walked outside and left the house ( he about ran out of it ) the devil returned. He was wholly cognizant of what he has done in the yesteryear, and he gave Agnes a smiling of satisfaction ( at least he did hold a eldritch expression on his face ) . After this Agnes gives this expression back to him, turns about and walks off ; this suggests that she has already got over this whole.

Of class, I ca n’t state the right reply to this enigma, but I decidedly liked the ambiguity of this last meeting.

We should n’t bury about the child Ellen Page, either, who already in this early phase of her calling gives cogent evidence of her aglow and natural endowment in the function of Agnes ‘s girl, Joanie. The extremum of her public presentation is possibly the scene when she asks Agnes straight whether she is her female parent. The look, which appeared on her face after inquiring this inquiry – reflecting wonder, anxiousness, confusion, alleviation and so disenchantment at the same clip – , and the tone of her voice were more than convincing for me.


In this essay I analyzed the narrative of Marion Bridge go arounding about three sisters, who

reunite over the at hand decease of their female parent, from the point of view of characters refering their dealingss to each other, the development of their personality and eventually I pondered over the playing. I tried to show how Agnes, Theresa and Louise manage to acquire over their past, happen their manner back to each other and do a fresh start together.

I would wish to reason that thanks to the aggressively described characters and the superb acting dramatis personae made up of Molly Parker, Rebecca Jenkins, Stacey Smith and Ellen Page ‘much more happens in Marion Bridge than a simple secret plan narration might bespeak – it ‘s an accretion of stating incident, of interior softenings and hard-earned gestures of kindness. ‘[ 9 ]

It was truly gratifying to follow the three sisters ‘ effort to confront up to the past and reckon with the incidents of it. I found it really prosecuting to see how they try to happen the manner back to each other, and how they – during this procedure – become capable of populating with the yesteryear in the present, and traveling towards the hereafter.

That ‘s why – despite all of its failings I collected in the first subdivision – Marion Bridge is deserving to see, as finally your forbearance and careful attending will be rewarded, thanks to the film ‘s fabulous dramatis personae and its catchy characters of existent deepness.


1 ) Anderson, Jason ( 2003 ) “ Marion Bridge ” Eyeweekly. Accessed 28 November 2010.

hypertext transfer protocol: //

2 ) Clifford, Laura ( 2003 ) aˆzMarion Bridge ” Staggering Reviews. Accessed 28 November 2010.

hypertext transfer protocol: //

3 ) Holden, Stephen ( 2003 ) aˆzFilm in Review ; Marion Bridge ” The New York Times. Accessed

28 November 2010.

hypertext transfer protocol: //

4 ) Warn, Sarah ( 2003 ) aˆzReview of Marion Bridge ” AfterEllen. Accessed 28 November 2010.

hypertext transfer protocol: //

5 ) Winter, Jessica ( 2003 ) aˆzSororal Fixation – The Taste of Others ” The Village Voice. Accessed 28 November 2010.

hypertext transfer protocol: //

6 ) Marion Bridge ” . Filmmovement. p.4-5. Accessed 28 November 2010.

hypertext transfer protocol: //

7 ) hypertext transfer protocol: // Accessed 28 November 2010.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *