Review: ‘The Sleeping Wife’

Vet Italo director Silvano Agosti's nearly one-man-band project "The Sleeping Wife" has a premise ripe for traditional sex-comedy treatment -- husband follows spouse's sleep-talking instructions to spice up their moribund conjugal life -- but its execution heads in another direction entirely.

Vet Italo director Silvano Agosti’s nearly one-man-band project “The Sleeping Wife” has a premise ripe for traditional sex-comedy treatment — husband follows spouse’s sleep-talking instructions to spice up their moribund conjugal life — but its execution heads in another direction entirely. Quirky, semi-experimental narrative is a modest, albeit charming, divertissement; post-fest circuit commercial prospects are slight beyond select broadcast showcasing.

Still handsome, virile and willing to go full-frontal after nearly four decades onscreen, Franco Nero lends a gentle comic lilt to his role as a filmmaker distressed by his slinky blonde wife’s (Eleonora Brigliadori) frigidity. It’s unclear whether the cause is his infidelity, their childlessness, her depression, or all three. But when Anna begins speaking in her sleep, the seemingly random requests she makes — that he wear all-green clothing, make love during rainfall, etc. — have a revivifying effect on her spirits and their relationship. Enigmatic progress includes surreal flashbacks to protag’s childhood, and his reunion with a long-ago lover (Laura Linzi). Pic is too ephemeral to leave a lasting impression, but its bittersweet, whimsical tenor is pleasing. Helmer’s agile lensing and a lustrous Morricone score are major plusses.

The Sleeping Wife

Italy

Production

A La 11 Mars Cinematografique presentation in association with RAI Cinema. Produced, written, directed, edited by Silvano Agosti.

Crew

Camera (color), Agosti; original music, Ennio Morricone. Reviewed at Montreal Film Festival (World Cinema), Aug. 27, 2001. Original title: La Ragion Pura. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Franco Nero, Eleonora Brigliadori, Laura Linzi.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading