SleepwalkingFebruary 14, 2008
The drama follows a 12-year-old girl's struggle to come to terms with her mother's abandonment.
Release Year: 2008
Rating: 6.1/10 (3,483 voted)
Critic's Score: 40/100
Stars: Charlize Theron, Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb
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.
Mathew St. Patrick
Callum Keith Rennie
Lori Ann Kennedy
Foster Care Worker
(as Lori Kennedy)
Release Date: 14 February 2008
Filming Locations: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada
Opening Weekend: $47,762
(16 March 2008)
(18 May 2008)
Did You Know?
The working title for this production was 'Ferris Wheel'.
[referring to Joleen and her new boyfriend]
Do you know where they might be?
[when Warren doesn't answer]
Do you even know you're in jail? It's your fault she left in the first place, Warren. This whole thing is your fault.
No, I'm just wondering how long this has been going on, that's what I'd like to know.
[leaning toward Warren with a savage pleasure on her face]
Do you know what Mom would call you? She had a name for you. When it was just me and her talking. She'd say it and we'd laugh. Do you know what it was?
Coming-of-Age Story With a Twist
One night, Joleen Reedy's boyfriend is arrested in a drug raid, so she
and her 12-year-old daughter Tara move in with her somewhat slow-witted
Soon, Joleen follows her heart down the highway with a long-distance
trucker, and when James loses his job and Tara starts missing school,
it's not long before Child Protective Services shows up and Tara goes
off to a group foster home.
This is a movie about coming of age. And, as the story develops in Act
II, we have every right to believe this is Tara's story. She talks her
uncle James into learning to drive, pushes him into searching for
Joleen, and finally convinces him to help her take a hiatus from the
group home. And so they hit the road. Along the way, they stop at a
motel where she wakes up one night bathed symbolically in red light,
and the next morning at poolside, she's squirming seductively for the
benefit of a pair of adolescent boys who watch in fascination.
Eventually, their journey takes them to James' boyhood home, the ranch
to which Joleen said she would not return in a million years. Why did
she say that? The answer comes when James and Tara experience profound
abuse from his father, a tough old rancher played by Dennis Hopper.
This is when the viewers will realize that this is James' story,
because he does what he must to vindicate what must have been the
horrific upbringing he and his sister endured.
"Sleepwalking" is put over with excellent performances, notably Nick
Stahl's James, who grows into a man able to rise to the occasion when
it's time to carve out a destiny from the wreckage of his past.
Charlize Theron convincingly inhabits another fascinating character
from the seamy side, showing glowing embers of yearning that burst into
passion. And Hopper chews scenery entertainingly as the abusive
rancher. The supporting cast is uniformly strong.
But the star of this show is AnnaSophia Robb, who makes Tara a child
who realizes she needs to shed any air of fragility to press on with
the quest to reunite with her mother. Driving past a message board
flashing an Amber Alert with her name on it only steels Tara's
determination to succeed.
This is an excellent example of a script that turns into an independent
film that draws an excellent cast and, when it hits the screen, does a
good job of telling a good story and telling it well.
It should also be noted that AnnaSophia Robb is growing to be an
actress not only of exceptional skill, but of extraordinary beauty.