Georgia: Powerful Tale of Sibling Rivalry, Starring Jennifer Jason Leigh

Is Jennifer Jason Leigh (Miami Blues, Rush, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle) the most brilliant and diverse actress of her generation?

Judge for yourself in her latest picture, “Georgia,” a powerful psychological study of sibling rivalry set in the music world of Seattle.

Fresh from her stylish acerbic portrayal of Dorothy Parker, Jason Leigh radically shifts gears to convey the spunky exuberance of a young punk band singer, burdened by a complex relationship with her elder sister (Mare Winningham), who’s clearly more talented and yet more tolerant.

Directed by Actors Studio’s maestro, Ulu Grosbard (True Confessions, Falling in Love) the movie, which was written by Jennifer Jason Leigh’s mother Barbara Turner, is effective at expressing painfully unresolved family tensions, the familiar notion when siblings are not equally loved or equally talented or equally accomplished, a combined result of talent, luck, and circumstances.

While the two sisters go through their respective avenues of discovery, of self and other, we get to know the routine life on the music club scene. What it takes to make it The crucial role audiences play at live performances at a given night

Occasionally the movie slides into the terrain of TV melodrama, but it’s the uniformly accomplished acting that keeps the movie afloat. As the feuding sisters, both Leigh and Winningham shine in this sharply observed character study, investing their difficult roles with incredible dignity and honesty. Some of the songs the two women use to express their very different lives are memorable in their own right.

A lesson to American producers “Georgia” was produced independently by the French company Ciby 2000, for a modest budget. The film has traveled the global film festival road, winning major prizes at Montreal World Cinema Fest.

Released by Miramax.