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Sundance review: ‘The Sleepwalker’

First Published      Last Updated Jan 25 2014 08:57 am

"The Sleepwalker"

U.S. Dramatic

** (two stars)

"The Sleepwalker" is a gorgeously photographed mess, an erotic head-scratcher with pretentions of Bergman-esque grandeur. Kaya (Gitte Witt) and her boyfriend Andrew (Christopher Abbott) are fixing up her family's house in rural Massachusetts. Then Kaya's half-sister Christine (Stephanie Ellis) shows up unexpectedly, and with news that she's pregnant and has a fiancé, Ira (Brady Corbet), who shows up a day later. Over the next few days, family secrets are revealed about an incident in Kaya and Christine's past. Director Mona Fastvold (who co-wrote the script with Corbet) aims for a dreamlike atmosphere of menace, but the murky plotting undoes those ambitions. Props, though, for Zachary Galler's lush cinematography and an evocative score by Sondre Lerche (Fastvold's husband) and Kato Adland.

-- Sean P. Means

"The Sleepwalker" will screen again at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival: Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the Redstone Cinema 2, Park City.