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Paul Schrader's brilliant study of another alienated urban denizen skirting the borderline of madness stars Willem Dafoe as John Le Tour, a rich, upscale drug dealer for Manhattan professionals — "White drugs for white people," as he puts it. John is a recovering addict and for him it's the perfect job, as he can relate completely with the self-absorbed eccentrics he services. But when his boss Ann (Susan Sarandon) tells John that she is planning to abandon the drug business for herbal cosmetics, John's life is thrown into disarray. With no future plans, he sees black clouds heading his way. Coincidentally, he runs into Marianne (Dana Delany), an old girlfriend and former addict who has returned to New York to be with her dying mother. John sees Marianne as his redemption and starts to pursue her, but she doesn't want to be reminded of her past. When the murder of an Upper West Side woman involved in a drug transaction has the police scouring the town for suspects, John thinks they are following him, and the strain upon his life and his hopes for the future become harder and harder to bear.
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 21
- Fresh: 19
- Rotten: 2
- Average Rating: 7.2/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The movie is a small but absorbing mood piece, a canny insider's view of the life of a Manhattan drug dealer.
Fresh: A superb Dafoe contributes crucially to the degree of success the film achieves.
Fresh: Artistically self-indulgent, if beautifully acted, "Light Sleeper" isn't aimed at audiences with a hunger for conventional entertainment and upbeat endings -- for Schrader this is an improvement.
Fresh: "Sleeper" is wonderful, vintage fare from the man who scripted "Taxi Driver" and "Raging Bull," and directed his own screenplays for "American Gigolo," "Mishima" and others.
Great portrait of a drug dealer with a conscience. Fans of Requiem for a Dream will probably enjoy this one. Dafoe's acting is spot on.
Gritty, not too sappy
The movie follows the life of a 40 year old drug dealer for high end clients who's trying to to leave the scene. His longtime boss is played by a saucy Susan Sarandon, who's also about to stop dealing. The dealers here are the protagonists. The villian is played by one of their VIP clients. It was mostly unpredictable. I liked the portrayal of the high end drug scene of the late 80s / early 90s. Won't say more, but will recommend wholeheartedly.
I Tunes needs to get the sound track for this movie available for download if at all possible. It is amazing.