The Sleepy Time Gal - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Sleepy Time Gal Reviews

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November 27, 2009
Very depressing film, beautifully acted, especially by Jacqueline Bisset and Nick Stahl. Very well written, fine score, but again a real bummer. Director Christopher Munch skillfully intertwines the characters. Well done.
November 28, 2008
Yeah that's what it did - made this girl sleepy. Boring unlikeable sad characters. Considering the subject matter of a woman's impending death, it should make you care quite easily for them, but with the exception of the youngest son played beautifully by Nick Stahl (which is the only reason I gave this 2 stars), there was nothing either enjoyable or memorable for me except for how bad it was. Skip it.
July 27, 2008
This had all of the parts of what could have been a really good movie. Wonderful actors and an interesting story. But it just didn't come together for me. It was disjointed and seemed to travel along the surface. The acting was very good.
½ May 27, 2008
Bisset throws herself into what is by far the most emotionally demanding role of her career and emerges honorably.
March 21, 2008
I did not really like this movie.
March 11, 2008
Bisset is terrific, but the film as an whole is disjointed and unsatisfying even as it is moving.
½ January 20, 2008
i really like the acting, story line and the direction. its good
½ November 10, 2007
An excellent performance of Martha Plimpton!
½ October 1, 2007
I cannot think of a more balanced, genuinely inspired display of writing and direction on the American scene than this, Christopher Munch's third feature, after The Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day and The Hours and Times. While the first two both had great strengths, The Sleepy Time Gal, filmed in, I believe, five states over a two-year duration (correct me if I'm wrong on that), demonstrates a wisdom that so many Amer-indies lack: that film form, and characters themselves, needn't be histrionic, "bumped up," defeatist or otherwise sensational (or its direct inverse, fatally deadpan) to engage an audience and keep them engaged until well after the film has ended. Kudos to Munch for keeping the faith.
½ September 12, 2007
Jacqueline Bissett proves once and for all she is a great actress in this moving indie film about a woman trying to tie up the loose ends in her life as she battles terminal cancer. (Plus, Jackie is a still a very attractive woman.)
Super Reviewer
April 18, 2007
Sleepy Time Gal is one of those brilliant films that could only be part of American indie cinema. Frances, a mother, former writer and DJ, and lover of architecture and history, discovers she has terminal cancer, and so aims to tie up the loose ends of her life and spend time with her son.

Meanwhile, in a different city, Rebecca, unhappy with her job as a lawyer and split from her boyfriend, decides to seek out some questions to her own life, including finding her birth mother, and start afresh. The two characters stories link together in various ways as, separately, each remembers and learns more about their lives.

Firstly, I should get some criticism out the way. This is a very lyrical film, striving for and often achieving a kind of cinematic poetry. Unfortunately, this yearning extends to the dialogue, and some of the characters have the most ridiculously over-articulate conversations, even if they're just talking about everyday things. At one point Rebecca says to someone she's recently met "I admire your pragmatism". Ok, maybe some people do speak like this, but in the context of the film it feels a little daft. The other problem is the first 20 minutes or so. Very little information is offered as to what the hell is going on, and I found myself a little 'sleepy' myself. However, this does actually (eventually) play to the films strengths, as we discover more things about the characters and previous scenes make more sense. Don't get me wrong though, this isn't a film full of major surprises or twists; it's more a film about honesty and emotion.

So now the plusses. First of all, the acting is great - Jacqueline Bisset deservedly got lots of praise and is equalled (thankfully, otherwise the film could have fallen apart) in ability and scope by Martha Plimpton's performance. Nick Stahl is also nicely understated. The way memories are shown is very inventive, by use of black-and-white film sped up and blurred images, still photographs and paintings and camcorder footage. Finally, the photography is, at times, stunning, with beautiful location shooting in New York, Pennsylvania and Florida.

It's a bit of a depressing film in parts, but it's also refreshingly unsentimental, instead quietly poignant, and has an ending that mixes sadness and optimism in a way I wasn't expecting.
November 27, 2006
Very depressing film, beautifully acted, especially by Jacqueline Bisset and nick Stahl. Very well written, fine score, but again a real bummer. Director Christopher Munch skillfully intertwines the characters. Well done.
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