Light Sleeper (1992) 3.86/5 (6)


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Rating: The Good – 74.8
Genre: Drama, Crime
Duration: 103 mins
Director: Paul Schrader
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Susan Sarandon, Dana Delany, Sam Rockwell

Fascinating noirish drama that signals the high point in Paul Schrader’s directorial career. This unique film experience perfectly captures the subtle sense of foreboding that accompanies a high class drug dealer (Willem Dafoe) as a particular seedy chapter in his life is coming to a close. The different aspects to this internal struggle are mirrored in various ways from the garbage on the city streets to Michael Been’s haunting soundtrack that repeatedly fades in and out of the film. Dafoe is utterly convincing in the lead role (so much so that it may even be his most complete performance) while Susan Sarandon is terrific as his seemingly caring boss. Everything about this film feels new and (from the point of view of other films) unexplored, from the characters to the particulars of their personal dilemmas. In a medium where true novelty is the rarest of flowers that alone makes this film worth watching but in this case, it’s only one of myriad reasons.

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