6.6/10
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54 user 8 critic

The Sleeping Dictionary (2003)

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A young Englishman is sent to Malaysian Borneo in the 1930s to stay with a tribe as UK's colonial representative. A local woman (J.Alba) helps him understand local tradition and language. He falls in love with her etc. despite the taboo.

Director:

Guy Jenkin

Writer:

Guy Jenkin
Reviews
4 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessica Alba ... Selima
Brenda Blethyn ... Aggie
Hugh Dancy ... John Truscott
Bob Hoskins ... Henry
Christopher Ling Lee Ian Christopher Ling Lee Ian ... Jasmine
Junix Inocian ... Famous
Michael Jessing Langgi Michael Jessing Langgi ... Melaka
Mano Maniam Mano Maniam ... Policeman
K.K. Moggie ... Tipong
Emily Mortimer ... Cecil
Cicilia Anak Richard Cicilia Anak Richard ... Jester Woman
Malcolm Rogers Malcolm Rogers ... Vicar
Eugene Salleh Eugene Salleh ... Belansai
Noah Taylor ... Neville
Kate Helen White Kate Helen White ... Mandar
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fine Line Features Article

Country:

UK | USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 January 2003 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Kärlekens lexikon See more »

Filming Locations:

Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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: Iban society is based on heavy drinking, violent sport and practical jokes. Just think of it as English public school, without the buggery.
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Connections

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Mango Tango
Written by Alex Heffes
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User Reviews

Five Star ++
22 February 2003 | by jwdibbleSee all my reviews

'The Sleeping Dictionary' directed by Guy Jenkin just came to a Video store in my neighborhood (February 2003). It is one of the best movies I have seen...I rate it in the top 10 on my list of Romance/Drama. This film has terrific director- ship, meaning that the plot moves smoothly, is highly coherent, and suspenseful with timely revelations. The acting is first class...you like who you are supposed to and don't. I enjoyed seeing a film with real settings...jungle scenes & environs. I look forward to seeing future Guy Jenkins films. Even the music is excellent: it is fully supportive but one doesn't notice it. This is about the best compliment I can give to a music score for a movie in the Romance/Drama category. (too many movies have distracting music or volume with effect that fogs the plot impact). There is some violence, upper nudity, harsh language and death issues so restrict your young viewers as per choice. 'The Sleeping Dictionary' is a video I will purchase. Very few directors achieve this level of perfection so I put this film in the Artistic Category, not simply Entertainment. Give Director Mr. Jenkins top awards, Members. Thank you, JW.


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