Dealing with their father's rapidly deteriorating health only feels like the tip of the iceberg, however. Throughout the film, these sisters unravel as they're forced to confront their unresolved issues with each other and years of anger that's been festering as a result. And it doesn't help that they're cramped in their dad's brownstone apartment.
Still, it seems like the very thing that's bringing their mess to the surface is ultimately also bringing them together. Even with the intense yelling matches, slammed doors and painfully awkward silences, there are rare moments when they collectively reflect on life with their dad and spend time together in his room. There's even one pivotal moment where they all gather in the living room and attempt to mend fences after a huge fight. It's an accurate depiction of how sisters go through that inevitable cycle of being mortal enemies one moment and best friends the next. And while they push our buttons, they remain embedded in who we are and prove to be our biggest anchors in times of grief.
Aside from the film's compelling themes and Jacobs's ability to tug at the heartstrings, His Three Daughters includes just the right amount of humor to offset the serious tone. (Just wait until you see Rachel's facial expressions.) The entire main cast also delivers powerful performances and are very convincing as sisters, but it's Olsen and Lyonne who stand out. Olsen gives one of her most nuanced performances yet, where even the smallest reactions convey the emotional turmoil she's trying so hard to mask. Meanwhile, Lyonne nails her part as the more distant and introspective sister who tries to avoid dealing with her pain and anxiety head-on.
By the end of the film, viewers are made to feel like they lived in the brownstone apartment and grieved the same loss, but not in a way that feels too overwhelming or claustrophobic. Rather, it's an up-close look at how death continues to affect the living—and a challenge for viewers to reexamine their own sibling bonds.
FYI, this movie isn't available to stream just yet, but Netflix announced that it will soon be available on their streaming platform.