I wanted to really love this Swedish film. It had great bones, interesting characters, interesting topic, an unflinching gaze and a strong central performance from the 12-ish year old lead. It is the story of her character, Stella, as she watches her sister Katja, the skinny sister of the title, struggle with the rigours of competitive figure skating and, slowly we discover, an eating disorder.
The camera is on Stella a lot, you see her resenting the attention her sister gets – for her successes and her illness – and her grappling with who she wants to be. Where the film really shines is in the scenes between the two sisters, it seems they can only show who they are with each other. They are the only moments of joy in the film.
Where it didn’t work for me is in the lack of insight you get into each girl. You never really understand Katja and what drives her (and cripples her). It seemed to labour the point but ultimately I wasn’t sure what the point was. That childhood is hard. That parents can never understand. That we are always alone. That we are at our best and our worst with our family. I don’t know. Not a bad film but ultimately unsatisfying.