The Other Side Of Sleep (2011)

The Other Side Of Sleep (2011)





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Writer/director Rebecca Daly draws on her memories of living in a small community in which a young girl vanished without a trace to tell the story of Arlene (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), an eccentric young factory worker who grows increasingly sleepless and unstable while investigating a bizarre murder. When Arlene was just a young girl, her mother suffered a sudden and tragic death. Her deep mourning manifested in disturbing bouts of sleepwalking, Arlene grew increasingly reclusive into young adulthood. One morning, Arlene's fate takes a rather unusual turn when she awakens in the woods, right next to the corpse of a pretty young murder victim. In the days and weeks that follow, sleep eludes Arlene as she gradually begins to ingratiate herself with the victim's grieving family, as well as her former boyfriend Killen (Sam Keeley - whose notoriously short fuse has made him a prime suspect in the murder.
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Fastnet Films

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Campbell-Hughes is all that impresses in this pretentious Irish mystery. She plays a textile worker in a grim village somewhere in the Irish midlands who sleepwalks at night and becomes embroiled in the murder of a young local girl. I must confess to being a fan of the elliptical school of film-making. Some of it's best recent practitioners have been female directors, Andrea Arnold and Julia Leigh deploying it expertly in "Red Road" and "Sleeping Beauty". This is a girl's club Rebecca Daly won't be joining however. Being pretentious is fine if you have the creativity to back it up but this writer-director most certainly doesn't. It starts promisingly enough with a very engaging performance by Campbell-Hughes, an English actress who manages to pull off a perfect Irish midlands accent. Quickly though you realise Daly is leading you nowhere, it's the type of movie that could have ended at any point without making much difference to the overall narrative, what little there is. Ireland has produced a lot of acting talent lately but the performances here are atrocious. There's so much wooden acting here you'll be brushing sawdust off your shoulders by the end. The Irish Film Board are a disgrace to this country. It's practically impossible for an Irish film-maker to get funding from them but if you're third generation "Oirish" from across the sea like Daly or the McDonagh brothers they'll bend over backwards for you. Nobody in Britain would touch a script as bad as this but play on your heritage like a third rate footballer and the IFB are your new best friends. Surely someone on this island can do better than this garbage.

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