John LeTour (WILLEM DAFOE) is a good man in a bad business,working for Ann (SUSAN SARANDON) on the wrong side ofthe law. When Ann decides to close up shop, LeTour has to go straight and discover his own future.
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Tomatometer®reviews counted: 13see all Light Sleeper reviews
Top Critic Reviews
Fresh: "Sleeper" is wonderful, vintage fare from the man who scripted "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull," and directed his own screenplays for "American Gigolo," "Mishima" and others.
- Desson Thomson, Washington Post, Saturday, January 1, 2000
Fresh: A personal, melancholy tale of the midlife crisis of drug dealers in New York, Light Sleeper is done in a detached, ascetic, semi-successful Bressonian style but well acted by Willem Dafoe and Susan Sarandon.
- Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com, Thursday, June 24, 2010
Paul Schrader's film is an elegy for a life, a thoughtful character study, a surprisingly moving thriller. Willem Dafoe stars as John LeTour, a 40-year-old delivery boy for a high class drug dealer named Ann (Susan Sarandon). Their clients range from the slick but sleazy Swiss man Tis Brooke (Victor Garber) to the lonely, pathetic slob who never leaves his apartment. John has been talking about leaving the business for years, and is now on the cusp of a change: Ann has been saving up to invest in a new cosmetics business and get out of the drug game for good. They are former junkies turned dealers who never planned this line of work for themselves - this stuff just happens. John gets a wake-up call of sorts when he runs into an old flame, Marianne (Dana Delaney), who has been clean for five years and just wants to stay that way. She's not too keen on being around John, though her sister (Jane Adams) and their dying mother still speak of him fondly. Soon, she is reluctantly drawn back toward John like a moth to a flame; will she get burned? There's a sort of a plot involving a detective investigating a drug-involved murder of an honor student in the park, but this film is really about an astonishingly introspective, astrology-inspired, New Age drug dealer who doesn't want his life, has made tenative plans for an alternative future, and just wants to find a way out. Dafoe, tall and gaunt with a face like a skeleton embodying the just the tiniest hint of lasting flesh, embodies this character from the inside-out. Paul Schrader, who wrote and directed, considers this the third in a series of films he's made about alienated night workers. He calls them his "Man in a Room" films because they all involve men who, isolated, must sit or stand in a room and prepare to face the world: Travis Bickle posing in front of the mirror in Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" (1976), which Schrader wrote; Richard Gere getting dressed and contemplating life as a male escort in "American Gigolo" (1980) which Scrader wrote and directed; and now Dafoe, writing page after endless page in journal after journal about how much he wishes he wasn't in the life he's found himself in, and how desperately he wants to get out. "Someone once told me when a drug dealer starts keeping a journal, it's time to get out," John reflects early on. Maybe that someone was right.
- magnolia12883, Monday, November 16, 2009