Cannes 2015: Sleeping Giant
Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant is quite an achievement when one takes into consideration that it is the work of a first time feature filmmaker. It’s more of a “slice of life” sort of movie than one with a clear and easy-to-summarize narrative, but it’s essentially a very good film concentrating on loss of innocence, scattered with moments of greatness that are usually brought to the surface by its strong technical aspects (from its stylized editing to its sporadic shifts in tone). On a level of storytelling, it excels in its subtleties; there’s a homoerotic undercurrent that runs throughout the duration of the film, and yet emotions are never spelled out, only implied. Cividino leaves his viewers to draw connections between certain images and sounds, and I respect a director who can throw exposition entirely out the window and show his audience things rather than tell them every last detail.
The performances are fine—there aren’t exactly any standout actors in the film, but I must compliment the three leads on their ability to make me feel like I knew their characters, like I spent my summers with them years ago. This can be attributed to the seemingly loose script; much of the dialogue felt improvised, but in a refreshing way and not a distracting one. All in all, Sleeping Giant is an impressive display of technical skills that also has a lot to say about the trials and tribulations of adolescence. Above all else though, it’s a beautiful exploration of mortality.