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A drug dealer with upscale clientele is having moral problems going about his daily deliveries. A reformed addict, he has never gotten over the wife that left him, and the couple that use him for deliveries worry about his mental well-being and his effectiveness at his job. Meanwhile someone is killing women in apparently drug-related incidents. Written by
Ed Sutton <email@example.com>
Director Paul Schrader actually sent Willem Dafoe out to observe deals with a real drug dealer as training for this role. When Schrader asked Dafoe if anybody recognized him, Dafoe said he believed some did, but that they were afraid they would not get their drugs if they said anything. See more »
This film has to be one of Schrader's best films for sure.
"Light Sleeper" is a great and very effective yarn that follows John LeTour (Willem Dafoe), a drug trafficker/former addict who seems miserable and lonely while bringing drugs to users in the Big Apple. LeTour's life is put to the test when he finds out from Robert (David Clennon), that their boss, Ann (Susan Sarandon), is finally switching to cosmetics instead of drugs and an old flame, Marianne Joseph (Dana Delany), comes to town to visit her ailing mother. The movie moves at a steady pace and doesn't get ugly until the fierce and bloody shootout near the end of the movie. I must note that I'm a big fan of Dafoe and the strong (and moving) performance that he gives here is why I admire him a lot.
The film's photography, shot by Ed Lachman ("The Limey", "The Virgin Suicides"), is nothing short of brilliant and beautiful. In the early moments of the film, there are several small piles of garbages that nearly cover up the sidewalks and the bottom of the street lights. Dafoe, who also narrates the movie, mentions that there's a strike. Also, the musical score that's composed and performed by Michael Been, is good to listen to and it stayed with me during the whole film.
Paul Schrader (who directed the movie and wrote the screenplay) knows very well how to handle the film here with a simple and wise approach. Most of his earlier (and recent) work, dating back (and now) to the screenplay(s) that he wrote for Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" and "Bringing Out The Dead" and one of his own films - "American Giglo" make great examples of anyone who works at night and feels agitated. "Light Sleeper" itself has to be one of Schrader's best films for sure.
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