Film Analysis Essay on The Other Sister

Published: 2021-08-11
1161 words
5 pages
10 min to read
University of California, Santa Barbara
Type of paper: 
Movie review
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The movie that I viewed for this assignment was The Other Sister. I viewed it two days before the assignment deadline. Garry Marshall, Blair Beechwood, Bob Brunner and Alexandra Rose wrote the movie. Its release date is 26th February 1999and the main characters include Juliette Lewis (Carla Tate), Giovanni Ribisi (Daniel McMahon), Tom Skerritt (Dr. Radley Tate) and Sarah Paulson (Heather Tate). In the movie, Carlas sisters dislike her. Carla is sent to a school for children with intellectual handicaps while she is still very young and she returns home when she is mature. Her mother, Elizabeth, who can be perceived as overbearing and her father, Radley, who is patient struggles with the idea of Carla becoming independent particularly Carlas ambition to attend college and be in a relationship with Danny. Danny, in this case, has the same impairment as Carla (Marshall, Beechwood, Brunner & Rose, 1999).

Describe four (4) specific scenes from the movie that portrays how limitations in cognition (e.g. comprehension, attention, memory, problem-solving, skill transfer, etc.) were portrayed by the character with intellectual disabilities.

In the animal shelter meeting, Carla was barking at the dogs when Drew the head of the city council was speaking. She then proceeded to open the cage for the dogs, which disrupts the meeting. Another example of the limitation of cognition is the connection between thought and speech which is quite slow for individuals like Carla (Marshall, 1999). Another scene showcasing incapability is when Carla and Danny are at the bus station Danny keeping on saying I sit here until the person sitting in his usual seat leaves. At the country club, Daniel interrupts another couple dance to proclaim his love for Carla.

Describe four (4) specific scenes from the movie that portray limitations in daily living skills (e.g. eating, dressing, preparing meals, taking medications, using the telephone, managing money, using transportation, housekeeping activities, work activities, maintaining a safe environment, etc.)

One of the scenes which show a limitation in daily living skills is Carlas inability to follow adequately directions when visiting Danny. This makes her use five buses instead of one. Another scene is when Carlas mother arranges Carlas room with the view that she is unable to do it. Another scene is at the beginning of the movie when Carla is using a knife to eat instead of a fork. In another scene when Carla is in her parents home for Thanksgiving she is been taught how to use the knife.

Clearly, describe two (2) different scenes from the movie of how speech or language limitations were portrayed by the character with intellectual disabilities.

An example of a situation where speech limitation is depicted is the distortion of noise or sound when Carla speaks. Carlas father chuckled in a sharp and uproarious tone. Another speech limitation was stuttering. Whenever Daniel and Carla were at the train station, Daniel repeated the phrase this one about five times to describe the type of bus he used. It can be perceived that the stuttering occurred when the characters were excited. It appeared this faltering would happen when the characters would get energized. Also, the speech was also a bit slower for those with intellectual disability as compared to those without (Marshall, 1999). An example is when Daniel requested Carla to be his better half, the word girlfriend appeared to be extended.

Describe (2) specific scenes from the movie of how a physical abnormality or limitation in gain, coordination or balance was portrayed by the character with intellectual disabilities.

A physical abnormality is depicted in the film when Carla leaves her mouth open for long which is due to intellectual disability. A good example is when she is taking a ride to school and throughout the journey, her mouth is open and also when she is walking in school. Another scene is during admission in college whereby Daniel is sleeping in line and is skipped by other kids. Once he is woken up and starts walking he knocks over other students property.

Describe at least two (2) specific scenes from the movie of how inappropriate behavior or limitations in social skills were portrayed by the character with intellectual disabilities.

An example of a scene depicting limitations in social skills for individuals with intellectual disabilities is when Carla demonstrates the inability to flirt in college. Carla sees her classmate flirting in class and then she tries to imitate the same at home while looking at the mirror. Another scene is when Carla is engaging in a sexual conversation with her mother and she talks loudly. Her mother tries to cue to her that it is inappropriate to talk about it loudly in a public setting but Carla fails to understand the cues.

Discuss the impact of intellectual disability upon the family members of the character with the disability, as portrayed in the movie

Children with disabilities require plenty of attention for them to comprehend what is taking place in the in their environment. For instance, Carla receives a lot of attention from her parents which makes her siblings despise her. Intellectual disability might also bring a lot of disagreement in the family, especially among the guardians. For example, Carla's parents argue a lot about taking to special school when her father is reluctant. They also argue about letting her stay on her own with her mother Elizabeth been very adamant.

How accurate do you believe the portrayal of the disability was? Explain your rationale, citing text content to support your opinion.

From my individual perspective, the portrayal of Carlas disability is appropriate especially since it clearly shows the challenges that people with disabilities have. It also includes the impact that disability has on the family members especially when not understood. The movie includes both behavioral and cognitive challenges those individuals face. It also shows that when exposed to a supportive environment they can exhibit independence in their day to activities (Hunt & Marshall, 2012).

Discuss how public opinion of people with intellectual disabilities could be positively and negatively impacted by this movie.

From my perspective, the public opinion of the movie could be positively impacted particularly by understanding the world of those affected by disabilities. The negative impact of this movie is that it can make people think that people with disabilities deserve to fall in love with themselves like Carla and Daniel.

Would you recommend this movie to others? Why or why not?? This is your chance to be a movie critic!

I would recommend this movie to others due to the movies theme of intellectual disability. I believe that most people need to understand those with disabilities due to the mislabeling which is often accorded to them. Those who do not understand the disability view the individuals as stupid rather than intellectually handicapped. Therefore, I would strong recommend the movie.



Hunt, N., & Marshall, K. (2012). Exceptional children and youth. Cengage Learning.

Marshall, G., Beechwood, B., Brunner, B., & Rose A. (1999) The other sister. USA: Box Office.


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