Sleep Tight

"Sleep Tight" will unquestionably fall into the big sleep now that its unaccountable selection in the Cannes Directors Fortnight is past. Difficult to endure and utterly without artistic point, Claire Doyon's first feature reps the sort of deep-end artsy indulgence so disconnected from the real world that no known audience would actually pay to see it.

With:
With: Lisa Lacroix, Marie Felix, Guillaume Gouix, Dani, Jacno.

A perfectly putrid slice of pretentious whimsy, “Sleep Tight” will unquestionably fall into the big sleep now that its unaccountable selection in the Cannes Directors Fortnight is past. Difficult to endure even at 77 minutes and utterly without artistic point, Claire Doyon’s self-absorbed first feature reps the sort of deep-end artsy indulgence so disconnected from the real world that no known audience would actually pay to see it.

Pic is set entirely on an oppressively windswept island inhabited only by a family of four loonies. Teen sisters Olive and Clementine alternately frolic like 4-year-olds and prowl around like felines, while the terminally affected parents greet each other in the morning with an immortal exchange. Mom: “My Las Vegas, my vulture!” Dad: “And your pussy, how is it?” The hysterically repressed girls are ultimately pitted against one another after discovering the unconscious body of a hunky guy wrapped in seaweed. Thesps all come off like rejects from a mime school, while Doyon’s static set-ups seem hypnotized by the fabrics of the flimsy costumes and the howling of the wind and the girls. French title is accurately translated as “Little Lions” onscreen.

Sleep Tight

Production: A MAT Films, France 3 Cinema co-production in association with Canal Plus and the Centre National de la Cinematographie. (International sales: Shellac, Paris.) Produced by Richard Magnien. Directed by Claire Doyon. Screenplay, Doyon, Jean-Claude Montheil, story by Doyon.

Crew: Camera (color), Gertrude Baillot; editor, Pauline Gaillard; production designer, Jerome Perrier; costumes, Misa Ishibashi. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Directors Fortnight), May 23, 2003. Running time: 77 MIN.

With: With: Lisa Lacroix, Marie Felix, Guillaume Gouix, Dani, Jacno.

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