SleepwalkingAnchor Bay (Blu-ray)
Jolene Reedy is a disillusioned single mother prone to bad men and reckless behavior. Her younger brother James is a weak-willed underachiever who can't hold a job. But when Jolene abandons her 12-year-old daughter with James, uncle and niece make a fateful decision to flee to the farm of James and Jolene's abusive father. In a past plagued by dark secrets, can family prove to be the most desperate bond of all?
Ever since her Oscar winning role in Monster Charlize Theron has been making some interesting choices in roles. Rather than the typical big-budget Hollywood staples, she’s been turning out some interesting roles in great independents and solidifying her skills. While she is one of the bigger stars here, she isn’t in the film much. Instead you see the tale of an Uncle who is left to take care of a young girl despite being nowhere near ready for it. From there on is a downward spiral of circumstances and events that build on the characters. Overall the story is good but a bit on the slow side as far as emotional dramas go.
This film was shot in 35mm but there is a lot of footage that looks close to digital photography. Outdoor shots have great detail and dimension but interior shots tend to be soft and slightly out of focus. This hurts dimensionality a bit. I saw some minor artifacts here and there throughout the film but overall the image has a nice sense of detail. Colors are largely desaturated and promote the gloom of the film. Considering the tone of the film, this is a fitting transfer.
The audio is presented in uncompressed PCM 5.1 but the mix is very subtle in sound design and presence. Surrounds are used for atmosphere, but the effect is underwhelming. Dialogue does sound natural in tone but the balance wavers slightly from scene to scene. The score is very subtle but keeps the mood of the film intact with its nuances. Again, suited to the film but not very noteworthy in itself.
Extras include a production feature with interviews and behind the scenes footage and the film’s trailer.
Overall this was a solid character drama with great performances and solid cameos. The film can be a bit slow at times but the performances make up for it. The video is a bit hit or miss but overall I thought Anchor Bay did a good job with the presentation overall.