Review: STATE LIKE SLEEP Is A Bit Too Groggy

FIRST IMPRESSION

State Like Sleep should have been great, but its disappointingly boring script wastes the talent of the excellent ensemble.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

State Like Sleep is a new drama film written and directed by Meredith Danluck and starring Katherine Waterston, Michael Shannon, and Luke Evans. It is about a woman who begins to discover the secrets of her celebrity husband’s life after he commits suicide. It debuted at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival.

One of the biggest issues with this movie is that its characters simply aren’t compelling. The protagonist is a grieving widow, and there isn’t much more to her. This is particularly frustrating given the fact that the foundations of an interesting character are there — for one, she has a life of her own apart from her husband’s — but they choose to ignore them. The supporting characters were even more frustrating. They served as nothing more than devices to deliver dialogue and move the protagonist towards her eventual end result.

The pacing of the film is quite problematic too. It is extremely slow, but not in a contemplative way. Rather, it just seems to be meandering through the script without regard for keeping the attention of the audience. The character arc is very straightforward and could have been compressed into a movie twenty to thirty minutes shorter and far more interesting as a result.

state like sleep alley
Katherine Waterston as Katherine in the thriller “STATE LIKE SLEEP”, a film by The Orchard. Photo courtesy of The Orchard.

The film is also plagued with bad tonal shifts. At multiple points, the movie switched genres. At some points it was a drama about a grieving widow. At others it would be a thriller about her investigating what “really” happened to her husband. Later, it would become a romance between her and the mysterious stranger that continues to cross her path. The cycle continues and, quite frankly, it’s exhausting to keep up with all the changes. At a certain point, the intrigue is lost and it is time to check out of the film.

It doesn’t help that the movie’s plot is extremely convoluted. The main plot is about the protagonist trying to explore her late husband’s life, and that was mostly developed. On the other hand, the subplots are entirely unsatisfying. There is one involving her husband’s mysterious best friend who is a drug dealer with a temper. When he is introduced, this storyline is pretty intriguing, but it soon fizzles out. Another subplot involving the protagonist’s mother is completely unnecessary.

state like sleep shannon
Michael Shannon as Edward in the thriller “STATE LIKE SLEEP”, a film by The Orchard. Photo courtesy of The Orchard.

On a technical level, the film is largely competent, but it isn’t attractive either. The shots are well-framed, but the movie as a whole feels so cold and distant that it is no longer aesthetically appealing. This could be the overall mood and feel for which the film was aiming, but it doesn’t work. Even the club scenes, which should be loud and energetic, feel unsettlingly dull.

The movie also feels like it is wasting the talent of the actors involved. The three leads — Waterston, Shannon, and Evans — have all shown that they can take mediocre scripts and give solid turns. Unfortunately, they just don’t shine in this film. Their performances aren’t bad, but they are also far from their best work. Waterston and Shannon are too monotonous. It is almost as if Danluck wasn’t guiding them. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Evans hams it up, delivering a performance far too flashy for the movie.

Overall, State Like Sleep was a disappointing film. It had quite a bit of potential, and a stellar cast, but the script is uneven and the execution is lackluster.

State Like Sleep is now available on VOD and opens in theaters January 4.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

The Governor Kills Hershel | The Walking Dead Classic Scene

Rick opens up to try and make peace with the Governor, who has Hershel and Michonne as prisoners. Watch Classic Scenes from The Walking Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3U9Q0w53xM&list=PLP63B9XPsQt1LcCKwMK5sFVj7X0v0-KfN&index=3&t= Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: https://goo.gl/Tu5rSx #TWD #TheWalkingDead #HershelGreene THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadAMC/ Follow The Walking Dead on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WalkingDead_AMC Visit…

Tell Me A Story | Season 1 Episode 9 | Chapter 9: Deception Promo | The CW

Stream new episodes of Tell Me A Story Wednesdays free only on The CW: https://go.cwtv.com/TELgenyt SUBSCRIBE: http://go.cwtv.com/YTSubscribe About TELL ME A STORY: TELL ME A STORY takes the world's most beloved fairy tales and reimagines them as a dark and twisted psychological thriller. Set in modern-day New York City, the first season of this serialized…

Star Trek Day 2020 | Jack Quaid Reveals What His Girlfriend Thinks Of Brad Boimler

Jack Quaid (Brad Boimler) may have loved seeing the finished first episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks, but he wasn't as much of a fan of his girlfriend's joke. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks on Thursdays, exclusively in the U.S. on CBS All Access. Stream all-new episodes of Star Trek: Lower Decks…

The End of The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead’s final epic chapter. The Expanded Season 11 begins 2021. Watch from The Walking Dead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFW4F9BGYQg&list=PLC7EC9FB2E211A261&index=6&t= Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: https://goo.gl/Tu5rSx #TWD #TWDSeason11 #TheWalkingDead THE WALKING DEAD: Like The Walking Dead on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheWalkingDeadAMC/ Follow The Walking Dead on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WalkingDead_AMC Visit The Walking Dead Official Site: https://www.amc.com/shows/the-walking-dead Sign Up…

Emily in Paris | Official Trailer | Netflix

Say oui to new possibilities! Emily in Paris, a new series from Creator of Sex and the City, Darren Star, premieres October 2. Only on Netflix. SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across…

Fargo | Installment 4: Seesaw Teaser | FX

Come play. Fargo is back with an all-new story September 27th on FX. Next day FX on Hulu. Subscribe now for more Fargo clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX The fourth installment of Fargo is set in 1950 Kansas City, where two crime syndicates fighting for a piece of the American dream have struck an uneasy peace. Chris Rock…

HBO Replay: Single and Fabulous? | Sex and the City

If you're going to call Carrie Bradshaw single and fabulous, there had better be an exclamation point at the end of that sentence. #HBOReplays brings you the must-rewatch scenes from your favorite shows, specials, and more. #HBO #SexandtheCity #CarrieBradshaw Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 How do single women and men find mates in New…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here