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Avg. Rating: 3
3.5 stars - unnecessary ending (spoiler)
I like this movie. I think I would've REALLY liked it if they didn't stick with the ending that they did.
We have Tara whose mother just ups and goes away leaving her with her Uncle James. James, while a "good" guy, can't seem to get his act together and ends up getting fired from his job. James is then deemed unfit to care for Tara and she ends up in an orphange. After staying there for a time, James takes her out for her birthday and he never returns her. They end up taking a road trip to the farm where James and Tara's mother grew up, only to find his father to be a ruthless... well, whatever explative you want to use here.
This is where I became somewhat removed from the movie. There is a scene where the father (played by Dennis Hopper) starts physically beating on Tara after having beat James for a bit. James, finally standing up to his dad and standing up for himself, takes a shovel to his father, thus rescuing Tara. I have no problem with James' decision to hit his father to prevent harm from coming to Tara, but what he did next is where I start to disconnect with the movie.
I think I would've enjoyed the movie much more if the ending had dealt with the complex emotions and decisions Tara would've been faced with of having to return to the mother who abandonded her versus wanting to stay with James who took care of her, and loved her, in a way her mother never did.
Yet another good movie spoiled by unnecessary violence and the consequences of said violence.
This film is so bad!....I love Annasophia Robb but I still couldn't get through this incredibly boring movie!
"Sleepwalking" is Sure to Wake You Up
There's no doubt that I'm unlike many teenage boys out there today. Rather than hitting theaters for the hottest action-packed thrillers, I seem to be drawn to indie films of this nature. Here's a storyline that you don't see very often. Not getting into a summary, the film was extremely well produced and the acting was phenomenal. The viewer understands Stahl's innocent confusion and Theron's deep insecurities. For AnnaSophia Robb, you can be assured that this is a side of her the public has not yet seen. Skeptical of how persuasive her performance would be, the young actress doesn't disappoint as she proves that she can be just as gritty and dark as she was fun, perky, and easy to love in Walt Disney's, "Bridge to Terabithia." The actors could not have done a better job. I laughed at every intentional corny joke and chocked up right on point. The film takes a realistic look at how screwed up life can be with just the right amount of redemption to keep you going. Be warned, however, if you're the type that needs closure and/or a happy ending, this probably isn't the film for you. Though the storyline takes on a slower pace at certain points in the film, you realize that it is necessary in ensuring that the tone is kept at an appropriate level, right where it should be. Nevertheless, you'll walk away speechless. The cinematography is incredible--the entire film appeared raw and unfiltered. Juxtaposed with a captivating score, the emotion will somehow find its way leaping off the screen and hitting you in all the right places, at the right moments. There was possibly one major song in the film (which was repeated during the end credits) that seemed to be the perfect fit. And though I know a film is never 100% perfect, I personally don't think it could get any better. "Sleepwalking," is sure to wake you up--definitely a movie worth seeing.
Recommendations: If you enjoyed this, check out "Undertow" starring Jamie Bell and Josh Lucas.
What a loser this movie turned out to be. I don't know why Charlize Theron is even shown on the cover, she's not in it much.
The movie is a low budget sleeper. It doesn't have enough of a plot to go anywhere. It drags on and on. The characters are boring. I also have a problem with child actors who smoke. I don't care if its for a role or not, it is unacceptable!
Don't even waste your time renting this dud.
Jolene (Charlize theron) is a horrible mother with an addictive personality and bad daddy-issues. She seemingly loves her daughter Tara (AnnaSophia Robb), but lacks the capacity to care for her appropriately. Instead, she's more concerned with dressing up, going out whoring, and finding the next one-night stand. Essentially, she's an unfinanced prostitute. When she runs on hard times, she turns to her kind-hearted brother James (Nick Stahl). Despite his meager living conditions, he has a good heart and takes his relatives in as guests.
Unexpectedly, Jolene cowardly and irresponsibly abandons her daughter and brother with a letter and a few dollars. The letter states that she'll soon be back, but neither her brother nor her daughter have much faith. When they both shirk their responsibilities - Nick misses work and Tara misses school - to search for Jolene, their lack of luck leads to a change in life.
James loses his job due to his constant tardiness, and the already difficult situation with his niece becomes even more unsteady. Soon thereafter, Tara is taken to social services, James sells all his possessions and gets evicted from his apartment, and both feel that their lives are spiraling out of control. Luckily for James, he has a loser friend Randall (Woody Harrelson) with a basement and an air mattress. With a shared desire to find something better, James leaves the dark basement and gets Tara - freshly rescued from social services. At first the trip is a mystery to Tara, but she soom learns that the two are venturing towards refuge with the abusive, estranged father (Dennis Hopper) James and Jolene left behind. Things haven't changed on their childhood farm, and the abuse continues anew. Quite often an abused child returns with not only issues, but also a score to settle. The drama, battle of wills, and tension boils over, as a potentially explosive relatioship comes to fruition.
In the end a strong cast is somewhat ruined by a slow pace and weak performances and a lack of resolution. Theron is absent half of the movie, and when she is on screen she's unconvincing as a troubled, irresponsible mother. The promise of Sleep Walking is highly unfulfilled, and it'll end up in a $5 bargain bin in the very near future.
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