This review of Sleepwalking by Jeffrey M. Anderson came to late for a regular posting at Metroactive.com, but maybe it’s better that way. The film opens March 14 at any theater that will have it.
Sleepwalking is an unfortunate title for a movie that appears to be doing just that. Nick Stahl plays James, a drifting slacker who suddenly finds himself caring for his young niece, Tara (AnnaSophia Robb). He loses his job and tries to escape social services by hitting the road and staying with his volatile old man (Dennis Hopper) on the family’s grim farm. Rookie director Bill Maher can’t energize his scenes beyond crushing routine; the best he can manage is trailer-friendly shots of snow drifting across a road or underwater shots of Tara in a swimming pool. It’s a failed attempt to use a poetic, scruffy, “indie” look to disguise the film’s nothingness. Charlize Theron (who co-produced) plays a small role as the girl’s mother. Rated R.