Sleepwalking stars Charlize Theron -- but she disappears from the screen for about two-thirds of the film. It's set in the American West -- but shot in Canada. It's about family, pain, loss, renewal -- all of which are discussed, and discussed more elegantly, in other films at Sundance this year. It even has what's become a fairly standard-issue Sundance finale, as a character hits the open road with a bright future ahead of them, aside from the murder rap in their rear view mirror. It's not that Sleepwalkingis bad, per se; it's just that it's inert, a space-and-schedule filler that can now put the words "Sundance Premiere Selection" on the DVD box when it goes straight-to-video.
Joleen Reedy (Theron) has one of those lives where all the things that go wrong keep her harried and distracted enough to not notice how many of them are her fault. She's been thrown out of her house because the cops have seized her boyfriend's on-site marijuana gro-op, and she and her daughter Tara (AnnaSophia Robb) move in with her brother James (Nick Stahl). Joleen doesn't even try to get back on her feet -- or, rather, she figures the best way to get back on her feet involves leaving town in pursuit of another man; Tara's left with James, and his strained life implodes under the stress of trying to care for an 11-year-old girl.