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Sleepwalking (2008)

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The drama follows a twelve-year-old girl's struggle to come to terms with her mother's abandonment.

Director:

Bill Maher (as William Maher)

Writer:

Zac Stanford

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nick Stahl ... James
AnnaSophia Robb ... Tara
Charlize Theron ... Joleen
Deborra-Lee Furness ... Danni
Mathew St. Patrick ... Detective #1
Callum Keith Rennie ... Will
Woody Harrelson ... Randall
Dennis Hopper ... Mr. Reedy
Ken Mitchell Ken Mitchell ... Mr. Bergen
Jean Freeman Jean Freeman ... Mrs. Bergen
Troy Skog Troy Skog ... Warren
George Grassick George Grassick ... Cop #1
Mike Ennis ... Cop #2
Alexandra Fox Alexandra Fox ... Darlene
Lori Ann Kennedy Lori Ann Kennedy ... Foster Care Worker (as Lori Kennedy)
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Storyline

James "Speedy" Reedy is anything but. He's a twenty-something slacker sleepwalking through life in a Midwestern town. His older sister, Joleen calls him in the middle of the night after the police have arrested her boyfriend and tossed her and her 12-year-old daughter Tara on the street. James takes them in, then Joleen, who claims to have a plan, leaves with a trucker and a stash of drug money. James tries to cope, but soon he's lost his job, and child protective services places Tara in foster care. She's miserable. Can James wake up and find a way to be more than just a nice guy? A road trip to his childhood may hold a key, or it may be another bad dream. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and a scene of violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Canada | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 2008 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Ferris Wheel See more »

Filming Locations:

Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$47,762, 16 March 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$168,972, 18 May 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charlize Theron and Woody Harrelson appeared in North Country (2005). See more »

Quotes

[from trailer]
James: [to Tara] My whole life I feel like I've been sleepwalking. But you helped me. You woke me up.
See more »


Soundtracks

Def
Written by Devin Powers
Performed by Devin Powers
Courtesy of Powers Music Company
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Numb Life of Sleepwalking
10 July 2008 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

New director William Maher and writer Zac Stanford previously worked together in THE CHUMSCRUBBER and the similarity of vision is apparent in SLEEPWALKING: both films deal with the empty shells of hollow people aimlessly seeking connection in a world that has become foreign territory. It is a dark, cold, brooding film that somehow manages to maintain our attention with the hope that the gloomy tunnel though which the characters are passing will have a semblance of light at the end.

Joleen (Charlize Theron) is the inadequate, loving-but-inconstant mother of twelve-year-old Tara (AnnaSophia Robb) whose reckless an aimless life leads to constant moving and lack of roots. Evicted form her latest residence Joleen and Tara move in with Joleen's younger brother James (Nick Stahl) whose similarly aimless life is defined by a trashy apartment and a mindless construction work job. Tara is sullen, disappointed in her mother's erratic, irresponsible behavior, and when Joleen once again takes off 'on a new idea', Tara is left with James - trying to figure out an existence for survival. James loses his job due to absenteeism, takes up residence in the filthy basement of his nerdy co-worker Randall (Woody Harelson), while the town cop (Mathew St. Patrick) reluctantly places Tara in a foster home to await the return of Joleen. Tara prefers life with James to her 'imprisonment' and the two take off on a road trip, seeking some degree of happiness and love in a world gone berserk. When James runs out of money, he heads to his old home farm for refuge, an unlikely endpoint as his and Joleen's childhood was warped by their abusive farmer father (Dennis Hopper). The return to the farm, James hopes, will provide connection to Tara's past, but instead it results in a tragedy that ultimately moves Tara back to her 'home' and to Joleen, while James drives off into the unknown future, finally awakened from his sleepwalking through life.

The film is as bleak as the flat and snowy countryside (the film was shot in Canada's winter) and that countryside reflects the desperate loneliness of the characters. The small cast offers solid portrayals with the work of Nick Stahl being the standout performance. Theron, Robb, Harelson, Hopper, and Deborra-Lee Furness (in a small but poignant role) make the best of a shaky script. This is a mood piece and can become depressing if the viewer expects resolution of the sad and empty lives the characters lead. But there is a haunting quality to the look of the film that stays with the viewer, especially in the mystery in the eyes of the character James as he drives into an unknown but awakened future. Grady Harp


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