'The Sisters Brothers' 'A Great Piece of Canadian Literature,' Says Reilly

By Ahearn, Victoria | The Canadian Press, September 8, 2018 | Go to article overview

'The Sisters Brothers' 'A Great Piece of Canadian Literature,' Says Reilly


Ahearn, Victoria, The Canadian Press


'The Sisters Brothers' film began in Toronto

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TORONTO - The big-screen adaptation of Canadian author of Patrick deWitt's acclaimed novel "The Sisters Brothers" began in Toronto.

Actor John C. Reilly, who stars in the comic western and is a producer on it, says he and French director Jacques Audiard first discussed the project at a restaurant in the city a few years ago.

"The Sisters Brothers" is screening at the Toronto International Film Festival after its premiere at the Venice film fest, where Audiard won the best director award on Sunday.

It stars Reilly and Joaquin Phoenix as gunslinging brothers en route to California in the gold-rush era of the 1850s.

Co-stars include Jake Gyllenhaal and Riz Ahmed.

Reilly calls deWitt's novel "a great piece of Canadian literature."

He says he first heard of the book from his wife, Allison Dickey, who is also a producer on the film. Together, they met Audiard for a "diplomatic detente" in Toronto.

"The French mafia came over, the American mafia came over," Reilly said jokingly Saturday at a TIFF press conference.

"We went to this restaurant, and it wasn't open during the day but we got them to open it, and so we sat in this empty restaurant together.

"It really was like a mafia summit or something, and despite Jacques's initial suspicions of these strangers bearing gifts, it was the beginning of a great thing."

DeWitt was born on Vancouver Island and won a Governor General's Literary Award and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for "The Sisters Brothers" in 2011.

The book also won the 2012 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Reilly said he and Dickey became friends with deWitt, who now lives in lives in Portland, Ore., while working with him on the 2011 film "Terri." They assured him that they would try their "very hardest to make a great film out of" "The Sisters Brothers" and find the best cast they could. …

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