Sleep Dealer Reviews
From a visual standpoint, the film-making is amateur at best. Over-saturated colors make everything look jaundiced and visually unappealing. PS2 CGI and effects incorporation are laughable. The direction is jarring and badly edited. Just a very poor technically executed film in pretty much every way.
The acting is another point of flat out terrible. Pena is unbelievably bad. Unflinching, stone faced, unable to compute any sort of emotion or relateability and just a total waste. What makes his horrible performance even worse is that his character is portrayed to be deep and charismatic which is the antithesis of his acting. Substitute him with a dead fish, and few would notice. In the 'positives' for him, Varela and Vargas are almost as bad, so at least he isn't alone. Ridged and off-putting performances all around.
The story has potential, but the most interesting bits are inconsequential. The world they live in is far more interesting than the characters themselves, but unfortunately this isn't focused on. Director Rivera is fixated on these uninteresting doofus characters for some reason, and completely misses out on really exploring this reality. Misses the boat entirely, and becomes a boring, preachy and unbelievably dull.
Now that I'm thinking about it, I'm not quite sure why I rated it as high as 1.5 stars. It does have some interesting ideas and an interesting idea of the future, but it is completely and offensively underutilized. All in all, a waste of potential and pretty much a total waste of time. But again, it did deal me a good nights sleep, so thumbs up to the title.
The movie won the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Prizeat the 2008 Sundance Film Festival,
The H.R. Giger Award for the Best International Film at The Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival, and a special mention Amnesty International Film Prize at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival.
The film was nominated for a Breakthrough director at the Gotham Independent Film Awards 2008, and an Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature in 2009
The acting is good - Luis Pena and Leonor Varela are really, really good in the delivery of their characters, and the setting, environments, and characters are very, very spot-on.
The ending is where it gets let down, a little; maybe we've been spoiled by the Hollywood concept of the climax having to be the most epic ever - but this one keeps with the movie's little people, little problems, and little solutions being a microcosmic representation of a larger issue. It still feels a little forced, a little unrealistic, though.
All in a ll, a nice, subversive experience.