Writer: Meredith Danluck (Screenplay)
Starring: Katherine Waterston, Michael Shannon, Luke Evans, Michiel Huisman, Mary Kay Place, Julie Khaner, Bo Martyn
Plot: A woman grapples with the consequences of her celebrity husband’s double life after he commits suicide.
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: No Intensity
Story: State Like Sleep starts when photographer Katherine’s (Waterston) actor husband suddenly commits suicide, which shines the spotlight on her life and her relationship with Stefan (Huisman). With her mother Elaine (Place) latest visit seeing her end up in hospital, Katherine much look after her mother in Belgium, who is there to help her deal with the grief she is facing.
As Katherine starts looking into Stefan’s life, she starts learning about his secrets including Emile (Evans) who supplied him with drugs and maybe more, while turning to American Edward (Shannon) for support in her troubled time.
Thoughts on State Like Sleep
Characters – Katherine is a photographer who is in a marriage which is starting to fall apart, things get worse when her husband commits suicide, which puts her in the spotlight, dealing with the aftermath with an overly attached mother-in-law and secrets which she is only searching to unlock to learn why he took his life. Edward is a neighbour in the hotel, he offers her friendship in her time of need. Emile is one of the secrets from Stefan’s life, he is from a club, which isn’t afraid to supply the drugs which is one of his vices. Stefan is the actor husband, about to get his worldwide break, only his strange actions have led to his suicide, his secret life is what is driving his wife in search for answers.
Performances – Katherine Waterston does every she can to make her character seem more interesting, but the character is written into grief to be so dull, it is hard to follow her journey, with only her haircuts to tell apart the two times. Michael Shannon does all he needs to without every reaching his best, while Luke Evans gives one of the most disappointing roles of his career to date, he just never gets going in his role. Michiel Huisman likewise doesn’t get too much to work with here.
Story – The story here follows a grieving wife that must look into her husband’s last few days and learn about his secrets to see if she every really knew him before he passed away. While the core of this story should be very interesting to follow, it does seem to fall into the slower paced style, we could focus on grief of a celebrity spouse dealing with added pressure after a suicide, only we get a weak look into his secret life and Katherine’s search for something new in her life. There was so much more we could have explored here only we get the very basics covered, with a mystery that just doesn’t get going or give answers that make much sense.
Settings – The film is mostly set in Belgium, which is different for a mainstream drama, it does have chance to go to the bigger known locations, but they don’t seem important to what is going on.
Scene of the Movie – The bar dinner.
Final Thoughts – This is a film that just feels like it is clogged down by not much going on, which only just about gets solid performances out of the cast.
Overall: Disappointing drama.