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    Winter Sleepers

    To sleep, perchance to dream

    Characters are haunted by half-remembered clues to a terrible accident in the Hitchcockian romance-thriller "Winter Sleepers" from the director of "Run Lola Run."


    Before the megahit "Run Lola Run," director Tom Tykwer made "Winter Sleepers," which if it had been made afterwards is the kind of film a critic would point to as a sign of the director's evolving maturity.

    Original title: WinterschlŠfer.
    Directed by: Tom Tykwer.
    Written by: Anne-Franoise Pyszora and Tom Tykwer.
    Cast: Ulrich Matthes, Marie-Lou Sellem, Floriane Daniel, Heino Ferch, Josef Bierbichler, Laura Maori Tonke.
    Cinematography: Frank Griebe.
    In German with English subtitles.

    Related links: Official site
    Some of the fast-paced, in-your-face techniques that made the music-video-style "Lola" such a wild ride are used in "Winter Sleepers" too, but in small doses and in service of a much more complex story.

    The film revolves around two young couples and a family in a small Bavarian ski town, linked by fate when an accident on a snowy mountain road leaves a young girl in a coma. While the tall, good-looking ski instructor Marco is visiting his gorgeous girlfriend Rebecca, a shifty-looking guy named Rene swipes his Alfa Romeo and goes out for a fateful joy ride from which he walks away without a care.

    Winter Sleepers  
    The moral situation is a simple one — at first. But then people begin to behave in puzzling ways, and it isn't long before you doubt your first impressions.

    All of the characters are subtle and interesting in what on the surface is a multiple love story but beneath that is a Hitchcock-style mystery. Even the characters involved in the accident are unsure about what happened, and they grapple with buried memories, subconscious clues and the doubts of everyone around them.

    Although "Winter Sleepers" is full of cinematic flourishes, it's not a showoff film about filmmaking — it's a character-driven thriller that's one of the most affecting movies of the year.

    MARCH 25, 2000

    Reader comments on Winter Sleepers:

  • [no subject]   from davenas lucie, Apr 7, 2001
  • Re: [no subject]   from CindyM, Jan 30, 2005
  • a few thoughts on "Winter Sleepers"   from dorothea, May 3, 2002
  • Re: a few thoughts on "Winter Sleepers"   from jaclynne, Jun 22, 2004

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