Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Icon Home Entertainment
Available now on DVD and Blu-ray

Props to Charlize Theron who continues to avoid trading on her good looks - which she could have so easily done after winning an Oscar in 2003 for uglying up in Monster - by chasing edgier, less attractive roles. She's also one of the producers of Sleepwalking where, as Joleen, a monster of another kind, she graciously plays support to Nick Stahl, as her brother, James, and AnnaSophia Robb as her daughter, Tara.

These three aren't exactly trailer trash but they're on the lower rungs of America's socio-economic ladder. And when James is saddled with Tara after Joleen skips town with her latest lover, things go from bad to worse. James struggles with the new found role of parenting and soon finds himself out of work, out of a home, and having to place Tara in foster care.

That situation doesn't last long, with James springing Tara from detention and the two taking to the open road. But with funds running low and police on their trail, they don't have many options. That's why James heads for the family farm, where he and Joleen grew up and couldn't get away from fast enough. Given that their father is played by Dennis Hopper, you just know things aren't going to get any better for the runaways.

For me, Sleepwalking suffers for not knowing exactly what it wants to be, starting out as the American version of a kitchen sink drama – the travails of the down-and-out – before taking another route when James and Tara hit the road, and yet another when we meet up with mad-eye Hopper.

The performances are all fine (Woody Harrelson and Deborra Lee Furness aka Mrs Hugh Jackman, feature in small roles) but for what end purpose I'm not entirely sure. It was obviously a project close to Theron's heart but I'm a stickler for a point and with Sleepwalking, I just don't see what she so obviously did.

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