IMDb > The Sleeping Dictionary (2003)
The Sleeping Dictionary
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The Sleeping Dictionary (2003) More at IMDbPro »

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The Sleeping Dictionary -- Jessica Alba speaks the language of seduction in this tantalizing story of forbidden love set against the backdrop of the steamy jungles of 1930's Sarawak.
The Sleeping Dictionary -- Open-ended Trailer from Fine Line


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Guy Jenkin (writer)
View company contact information for The Sleeping Dictionary on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 January 2003 (Mexico) See more »
Learn to speak her language.
John Truscott goes to Borneo to work with the Iban. He reports to Henry Bullard, who gives him a "sleeping... See more » | Add synopsis »
4 wins & 6 nominations See more »
(3 articles)
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User Reviews:
Not quite enough to be enough See more (54 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Directed by
Guy Jenkin 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Guy Jenkin  writer

Produced by
Simon Bosanquet .... producer
Frank Hildebrand .... executive producer
Jimmy Mulville .... producer
Denise O'Donoghue .... producer
Mark Ordesky .... executive producer
Chandran Rutnam .... associate producer
Charles Wang .... associate producer
Original Music by
Simon Boswell 
Cinematography by
Martin Fuhrer (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Lesley Walker 
Casting by
Mary Selway 
Production Design by
Simon Holland 
Art Direction by
Clinton Cavers (supervising art director)
Errol Kelly 
Set Decoration by
Judy Farr 
Costume Design by
Penny Rose 
Makeup Department
Mohamad Roslan Ahmad .... makeup artist
Saidatulnisa B.T. Aminuddin .... hair stylist
Jan Archibald .... hair designer
Carole Bennett .... hair assistant: UK (as Carol Bennett)
Nor Azmi Sham Bin Omar .... makeup artist
Barrie Gower .... special makeup effects artist
Mohammad Z.B.H. Hassan .... hair stylist
Noor Hawa .... makeup artist (as Noor Hawa Salam)
Sally Hennen .... makeup assistant: UK (as Sally Hennan)
Maureen Hetherington .... makeup assistant: UK (as Maureen Hedrington)
James Kho .... daily crew
Mohammad Z.B.A. Rahman .... makeup artist
Janah Binti Sayani .... daily crew
Eric Scruby .... hair assistant: UK
Lou Shepherd .... hair assistant: UK
Amber Sibley .... makeup artist
Anne Spiers .... makeup designer (as Annie Spiers)
Annie Townsend .... hair assistant: UK (as Anne Townsend)
Christine Whitney .... makeup assistant: UK (as Chrissie Whitney)
Production Management
Magen Appathurai .... unit manager
Ainsley De Silva .... production manager
Jack Deutchman .... post-production supervisor
Carla Fry .... executive in charge of production
Frank Hildebrand .... unit production manager
Robin Hollister .... unit manager
Jody Levin .... executive in charge of post-production
Rachel Neale .... unit production manager: UK
Frank Salvino .... post-production supervisor
Maria Walker .... post-production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hairul Salleh Askor .... second second assistant director
Simon Bosanquet .... second unit director
Caspar Campbell .... third assistant director
Mark Egerton .... first assistant director
Sherard Jayasuriya .... second assistant director
Liz Legum .... second assistant director: UK
Gregory Stitt .... first assistant director: second unit
Art Department
Liew Ah Seow .... carpenter
Sibah Anak Rokeh .... props handyman
Ian Ango .... carpenter
Michael Appuhamy .... carpenter
Bidin Bin Hassan .... set dresser
Ibrahim Bin Jaragan .... set dresser
Charlie Wee Cheng Choong .... construction supervisor
Patricia Lee Moi Chung .... draftsperson
Adrian Cornelius .... art department assistant
Hannah Coupland .... assistant set decorator: UK
Edward Dissanayake .... dressing props
Lal Dissanayake .... greensman
Chow Foo Fa .... carpenter
Rohan Fernando .... carpenter
W.L.G. Fonseka .... carpenter
Jan Grosvenor .... propmaker
Jan Grosvenor .... sculptor
Brian Groves .... supervising painter
Lal Harindranath .... leadman
Gary Hedges .... stand-by carpenter: UK (as Garry Hedges)
John Hedges .... construction supervisor
Jode Ranjan Hettiyadura .... carpenter
Chin Sin Ho .... carpenter
Chong Hoi Peng .... carpenter
Douglas Ingram .... storyboard artist
K.D. Justin .... construction foreman
P.G. Kapunaratna .... painter
Foo Kim Sin .... carpenter
Chong Kim .... carpenter
Lionel Liyanage .... props storeman
Fook Loi .... carpenter
Chai Men Nam .... carpenter
G.T.R. Mendis .... carpenter
Nick Milner .... prop storeman: UK
Senaka Nawaratne .... draftsperson (as Senaka Navaratne)
Rob Nevis .... chargehand stand-by props
Tai Chong Ngui .... dressing props
Dyan Ong .... set dressing buyer
Raymond Perera .... carpenter
Salinda Perera .... carpenter (as George Salinda Perera)
Nihal Ponweera .... carpenter (as Sumith Nihal Ponweera)
Sunil Premaratine .... stand-by props (as Sunil Premaratne)
Manoj Priyantha .... painter
Paul Purdy .... property master
Mulvade B. Raius .... set dresser
D. Ranasinghe .... chargehand dressing props
Anuradha Ranjith .... painter
Percy Rodrigo .... stand-by painter (as K.A. Percy Rodrigo)
Priyanka Sanjeewa .... carpenter
R.K.G. Sathyapala .... carpenter
Don Satyananda .... painter
Pas Nihal Silva .... carpenter
Upali Silva .... carpenter (as Luxman Upali Silva)
Chong Mo Soo I. .... carpenter
Anthony Strong .... stand-by stagehand: UK
Alan Titmus .... supervising construction foreman
L.M. Ruwan Wijenundara .... stand-by carpenter (as Ruwan Wijesurendra)
Sunil Wijeratne .... assistant art director
N. Wijewardena .... dressing props
I-Lann Yee .... art director: second unit
Hugh Fottrell .... stand-by propman (uncredited)
Sound Department
John Bateman .... adr mixer
John Bateman .... foley mixer
Jonathan Bates .... supervising sound editor
Philip Bothamley .... dialogue editor (as Phil Bothamley)
Tim Cavagin .... sound re-recording mixer
Tony Cook .... boom operator
Rony Esher .... sound recordist
Mohamed Faisel .... sound assistant
Richard Fettes .... foley editor
Simon Firsht .... boom operator: UK
Pauline Griffiths .... foley artist
Ray Hathaway .... adr recordist
Alex Hudd .... sound consultant: dolby
Craig Irving .... sound re-recording mixer
Peter Ishaq .... sound recordist
Richard Jay .... sound maintenance: UK
Abdul Kader Sahib .... sound assistant
Mark Lafbery .... sound re-recording mixer assistant
Jenny Lee Wright .... foley artist
Nick Lowe .... foley editor
Colin Nicolson .... sound mixer
Steve Single .... sound re-recording mixer assistant
Alastair Sirkett .... sound effects editor
Alan Sutcliffe .... sound recordist (as Alan Sutcliff)
Bruce Wills .... sound mixer
Wendy Czajkowsky .... sync supervisor: Vancouver (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Rufus Alponso .... rain effects technician
Raymond Soong Meng Chia .... special effects technician
Thangiah Krishnamoorthy .... assistant pyrotechnician
Frankie Phang Mun Klat .... special effects technician
Tony Phelan .... special effects supervisor
B.R.C. Rajasiri .... rain effects technician
Ian Wingrove .... special effects supervisor
Visual Effects by
Mark Bakowski .... Domino operator
Angus Cameron .... visual effects supervisor
Andrew Jeffery .... visual effects coordinator (as Andy Jeffery)
Antony Hunt .... executive producer: Mill Film (uncredited)
Ray De-Haan .... stunts
Mark Lisbon .... stunt coordinator
Camera and Electrical Department
Jean-Marc Alaux .... lighting balloon technician
M. Ariyaratne Perera .... rigging gaffer (as Ariyaratne Perera)
R. Athysayam .... electrical rigger
Sarah Bartles-Smith .... clapper loader
Muhamed Akmal Yek Bin Abdul Lah .... key grip: second unit (as Muhamad Ahmal)
Yek Bin Abdullah .... key grip: second unit
Shpinee Bin Ithnin .... grip
Ahmad Zyul Bin Zynooddin .... grip
Mohammad Sazali Bothman .... electrical rigger
Fred Brown .... rigging gaffer
Fande Sing Fung Chi .... camera technician
A.M. Ranjith Dissanayake .... electrician
Sam Garwood .... focus puller
Abdul Halim Omar .... clapper loader: "b" camera
Ahmad Harun B. Hamdi .... grip
Roy Soong Seng Heng .... video assist operator
Azman Bin Hitam .... grip (as Aidil Azman Bin Hitam)
Stuart Howell .... Steadicam operator
Stuart Howell .... camera operator
Selvan Kannan .... electrician
Bill Kaye .... still photographer
Lim Huat Kim .... clapper loader: "b" camera
Lim Huat Kim .... clapper loader: second unit
Surendra Kumar Thangavel .... best boy
Adam Lokman .... focus puller: "b" camera
Nihal Mallawarachchi .... electrician (as Nihal Mallawaarchchy)
S. Mohan .... camera operator: "b" camera
Mohd Jeffri Mohd Yusof .... focus puller: "b" camera (as Modh Jeffri Bin Mohd Yusof)
Mohd Jeffri Mohd Yusof .... focus puller: second unit (as Mohd Jeffri Bin Mohd Yusof)
M. Surreendran M. Muniandy .... electrician
Peter Myslowski .... key grip
Damith Nandalal .... electrician
Jagath Nissanka .... electrical rigger (as Nissanka Jagath)
Joe Sakol Palvanichkul .... generator operator: facility (as Sakol Palvanichkul)
Rohana Premachandra .... grip
Lalith Premalal .... electrician
Thilak Pushpakumara .... grip
Alex Scott .... gaffer
Sunram Sinnathamby .... generator operator
David Smith .... optical cameraman
Gary Spratling .... camera operator: UK
Sivakumaran Sreenivasan .... grip
Arumugam Subramaniam .... generator operator
Mani Kanthan Sunnasamy .... electrician
Gay Hian Teoh .... camera operator: "b" camera (as Teoh Gay Hian)
Gay Hian Teoh .... director of photography: second unit
D. Van Gramberg .... best boy (as Denham Van Gramberg)
Ganesan Veramuthoo .... electrician (as Ganeson Veramuthoo)
Dennis Watson .... rigger: UK
Sazuwan Zulkefli .... gaffer: second unit
Casting Department
Hairul Salleh Askor .... extras casting manager
Goh Sim Zee .... extras casting assistant
Sylvester Thomas .... extras casting
Fiona Weir .... casting assistant
'Kenneth' Yip Yong Jua .... assistant extras casting
Louis Elman .... adr voice casting (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Abang Abdul Halkim Abang Drashid .... wardrobe helper
Natarah B.T. Ahmad .... wardrobe helper
Annie Crawford .... wardrobe supervisor: UK (as Anne Crawford)
Mark Holmes .... wardrobe assistant: UK
Marlene Lawlor .... costume buyer
Jo Measure .... wardrobe set supervisor
Ali Mohamad .... costume maker
Mahmood Omar .... assistant to costume designer
Suzila Hanim Omar .... wardrobe assistant
Ameer Sahibjahn .... wardrobe assistant
Uz Taufek .... wardrobe assistant
Editorial Department
Clive Bates .... trainee assistant editor
Claire Ferguson .... assistant editor: avid
Jeremy Hume .... assistant editor
Mike Stainer .... color timer
Royce Smith .... color timer (uncredited)
Music Department
Chris Barrett .... assistant score engineer
Paul Broucek .... music executive
Terry Davies .... conductor
Terry Davies .... orchestrator
Geoff Foster .... score mixer
Geoff Foster .... score recordist
Isobel Griffiths .... music contractor
Jake Jackson .... assistant score engineer
Erin Scully .... music executive
Lori Silfen .... music business affairs
Graham Sutton .... music editor
Rosemary Warren-Green .... orchestra leader (as Rose Warren-Green)
Bruce White .... viola
Transportation Department
Gary Birmingham .... transportation coordinator: UK
Gary Birmingham .... unit driver: UK
James Pui Wei Chung .... transportation captain
Upali Gunaratne .... transportation coordinator
Chanthara Mohan .... vehicle coordinator
Other crew
Shan Iman Abdullah .... location manager: second unit
Rael Abu .... facility assistant
Chris Allies .... title designer
Claudette Almeida .... assistant production coordinator: Boston
Lylie Almeida .... accountant
Magen Appathurai .... location manager
Cassandra Barbour .... rights and clearances: Entertainment Clearances
Diana Beer .... contract administrator
Dana Belcastro .... production executive
Bianca Bezdek-Goodloe .... legal representative
Ramona Braganza .... trainer: Ms. Alba
Jack Carter .... controller: construction
Laurie Cartwright .... risk management
Gopi Darmaratnam .... Company Accountant - Sri Lanka
Patsy de Lord .... production coordinator
Chris Dhamodharan .... production assistant (as Chris Dhamohdaran)
Eugene Dior .... floor runner
Peter Eardley .... assistant accountant: UK
Jeff Egan .... production safety
Soon Lee Eng .... cashier
Sue Field .... script supervisor
Hugh Fottrell .... animal coordinator
Emily Glatter .... supervising production coordinator
Matthew Hassall .... stand-in: John
Wendy Hawley .... stand-in: Aggie
Law Moh Hiong .... location assistant
Mering Jasmine .... production secretary (as Jasmine Mering)
Withanage Mendis Jayasekera .... facility manager
Arriane Jayasuriya .... stand-in: Selima
Sara Keene .... unit publicist
Yeo Kheng Chiew .... production runner
Melissa Lai Wei Wei .... secretary to executive producer
Lone Friis Larsen .... stand-in: Cecil
Yin Nee Lee .... nurse: construction
Cecilia Malong .... coordinator: Bukhit Seban Hotel
Robert Malong .... assistant armorer
Alex Matcham .... production controller
Andrew Matthews .... financial consultant
Andy Maxwell .... floor runner: UK
Margaret Molnar .... researcher
Jennifer Mount .... risk management
Harry Naylor .... projectionist
Clive Noakes .... laboratory contact
Edgar Ong .... production assistant (as Edgar Ong Liang Yong)
P. Panjanathen .... assistant location manager
David Panzer .... production safety
N.G. Kim Poh .... assistant animal wrangler
Paul Prokop .... production controller
Justine Redfern .... assistant to producer
Leonard Sabu .... bearer organizer
Carl Schmidt .... armorer
Joy Scott .... floor runner
Dan Seekman .... legal coordinator
Julianna Selfridge .... risk management (as Juliana Selfridge)
Laura Sevier .... rights and clearances: Entertainment Clearances
Effenay Shahrul .... facility assistant
Sharan Jit Singh .... assistant armorer
Wannapa 'Gai' Sinthunawa .... assistant accountant
A. Premadasa Subasinghe .... craft service
Ramli Adbullah Suhaidel .... facility assistant
Robin Syawe Fiik Lai .... animal wrangler
Uzz Taufek .... consultant architect
Stephen Taylor .... production accountant (as Steven Taylor)
Samantha Thomas .... location manager: UK
Valerie Yun Ling Toh .... assistant to unit manager
Kirsten Wing .... assistant coordinator
Kirsten Wing .... contact: London
Rowena Wong .... floor runner
Wendy Zych .... production assistant: London
Stephanie Pecuch .... assistant: Dana Belcastro (uncredited)
Ileen Maisel .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for some sexuality and language
109 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Jessica Alba said that she disliked this film and her performance in it.See more »
Continuity: 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 »
Henry:[Giving Selima to John] She will be living with you.
John Truscott:As what?
Henry:She performs wifely duties.
John Truscott:What like sewing?
Henry:[pause and snicker] She performs wifely duties in the bedroom.
Selima:I sleep with you.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008)See more »
Mango TangoSee more »


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43 out of 48 people found the following review useful.
Not quite enough to be enough, 18 February 2003
Author: Kevin J. Cunningham (brutesentiment) from SF Bay Area, California

The Sleeping Dictionary should be noted mostly for being the biggest missed opportunity of shooting star Jessica Alba. This film was her only film project between the first and second seasons of "Dark Angel,' the show that turned her into a sensation, but quickly died a network death at the end of season 2, and thus ending the heat index on the lovely Miss Alba. The tragedy is this film, a good showcase of her and her abilities (rather than just her), was inexplicably delayed, pushed off and kept from theater screens, only to be released direct-to video far too long after her star dimmed.

As with any product here, you can get the synopsis elsewhere, so don't look for it here. I'll try not to spoil anything, but take note if you read this, then watch the movie, you may get tipped off as to what I'm vaguely referencing. If that bothers you, come back after you watch!

This is a film that had a good idea, and good execution of what the idea turned into. Unfortunately, a little bit more planning would have helped. At 109 minutes, this film won't bore you, but it could have been rightfully intriguing with 20-30 minutes of good plot added.

The film is carried on the sound filmmaking and charm of it's actors. In particular, Alba is enchanting. She plays the part with the seriousness it was intended, and never lets her intentionally accented English fall into 'stupid foreigner' stereotype, a tough job for many young actors and actresses who have attempted the same. Her partner, Hugh Dancy, is good enough. He channels a little bit like a scrawny Heath Ledger, but never quite gets rugged enough.

The other joy of the cast is the ever-underrated Bob Hoskins. By coincidence, I saw 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' just hours before watching 'Sleeping Dictionary,' and am never let down by his appearances in films. He plays a character who isn't written subtly enough; still, he acts it. The endless looks of "Damn bloody fool. Good for him, the w***er" scattered through the film isn't enough for a man of his caliber, but we'll take what we can get.

Their performances are weaved together well by Writer/Director Guy Jenkin, who is making his big screen debut as a director, though his writing career goes back to the late '70's without much acclaim. Directing-wise, he knows what he is doing. The camera work is graceful and beautiful, and he compliments the fantastic elements of the story well. As a writer, well, there are things left to be desired.

Most of all, this film seems too short. The story is predictable, but it never drags. The love scenes are contrived, as is the underdeveloped climax, but that's not where the film is weak. The characters are cleverly set up to be mirrors, and the overlapping triangles are so complex they rival those brainteasers that ask 'how many triangles are in this picture?' The problem is, the most important one is never realized, because of the lack of development between Dancy and his best friend within the tribe. Without much difficulty, and a little more time, that relationship alone would have lifted this film from not quite enough to a good, if not better, movie.

As a result, you're left with a film that doesn't challenge anything because it just challenges the same old things. But it is romantic, and has much more spark than many other movies you may see of this type. For that, and a young actress who has way too much fire to just disappear at this point of her career, this film is worth seeing.

Was the above review useful to you?
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