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The Sleeping Dictionary (2003)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  31 January 2003 (Mexico)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 6,596 users  
Reviews: 54 user | 8 critic

John Truscott goes to Borneo to work with the Iban. He reports to Henry Bullard, who gives him a "sleeping dictionary"--one of the locals who teaches him the local language and culture. And... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Christopher Ling Lee Ian ...
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Michael Jessing Langgi ...
Mano Maniam ...
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Cicilia Anak Richard ...
Malcolm Rogers ...
Eugene Salleh ...
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Kate Helen White ...
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Storyline

John Truscott goes to Borneo to work with the Iban. He reports to Henry Bullard, who gives him a "sleeping dictionary"--one of the locals who teaches him the local language and culture. And who he gives John is Selima. And while teaching him, John finds himself attracted to her. And we says it's not allowed, both the locals and Bullard forbid him to be in a relationship with Selima. But he defies them which has dire consequences. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Learn to speak her language.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Release Date:

31 January 2003 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Kärlekens lexikon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film used more than 600 Iban extras. See more »

Goofs

When Selima and Truscott are given the turquoise bracelets, she takes Truscott's off and wears it. In the next shot, she gives him hers but she's still holding his. See more »

Quotes

Henry: You know?
Selima: I guess eventually.
Henry: It seems I only get to say goodbye.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Mango Tango
Written by Alex Heffes
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User Reviews

 
Beautifully shot, but boy is it sappy
24 March 2007 | by (Studio City, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

I just saw a terrible film called The Sleeping Dictionary. One reviewer on Four Word Film Review (www.fwfr.com) got it right right when he wrote, "From A to Zzzzzzzzz." The story is about an English colonialist jerk that comes to Malaysia to "civilize the savages" so to speak and ends up falling in love with his sleeping dictionary. A sleeping dictionary is a native Malaysian prostitute fluent in English that services Englishmen colonialists and teaches them her native language in return for ... well the movie never really makes that clear, but I can only assume he gives her money or something. Needless to say, the movie focuses a lot more on the "sleeping" part than on the "dictionary" part of the job description. Things get complicated for our young hero when the forbidden love affair gets compounded by her culture, his soap opera domestic situation, and his own boundless stupidity in every major decision he makes throughout the film.

So yes, the movie has some major flaws, but on the other hand, it delivered exactly the two things I rented it for in the first place: a beautifully photographed exotic location, and an even more beautifully photographed and exotic woman that plays the sleeping dictionary, Jessica Alba. My friend told me that this crappy movie was her at her most beautiful and damn was he right. She's not a great actress, and doesn't quite pass for Malaysian, and its pretty obvious that they use a body double for the nudity, but who cares? Jessica Alba has that rare face and figure that's more than just sexy, but also beautiful in the way that a Vivaldi violin concerto or a Rembrandt painting is.

(P.S. Sorry to all you feminists out there who discourage objectifying women, the "male gaze," etc. etc., but I hope you can understand that I mean no disrespect.)


7 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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