Winter Sleepers

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Germany, the dead of winter: fate's frosty hand entwines itself around the lives of four lonely young souls who come together in a chalet at the foot of the mountains. Trudging home after a long night in the Sleepers bar, Rene (Matthes) passes the chalet and impulsively drives away the car parked outside; further down the road he collides with a truck in which a farmer, Theo (Bierbichler), is unwittingly transporting his young daughter. Dazed, Rene walks away; Theo is shaken to find his daughter in a coma by the roadside. His confusion is compounded by the police's subsequent assertion that there was no other car involved. Further coincidences deepen the mystery. Though this is just the set-up, the hermetic melodrama sits a little uncomfortably throughout. Neat coincidences aside, it's never clear how a plot turning on various degrees of amnesia should illustrate the film's thematic interest in the hesitancies and elusiveness of emotional intimacy. It's all rather glacially opaque. You can see how the film means well, and holds promise, but ultimately it doesn't come together. (From Anne-Fran├žoise Pyszora's novel Expense of the Spirit.)

Release details

Duration: 124 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Tom Tykwer
Screenwriter: Tom Tykwer, Anne-Fran├žoise Pyszora
Cast: Ulrich Matthes
Josef Bierbichler
Marie-Lou Sellem
Floriane Daniel
Heino Ferch
Laura Tonke
Sebastian Schipper
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