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Winter Sleepers


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Product Details

  • Actors: Ulrich Matthes, Marie-Lou Sellem, Floriane Daniel, Heino Ferch, Josef Bierbichler
  • Directors: Tom Tykwer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Import
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: 101 DISTRIBUTION
  • DVD Release Date: February 9, 2010
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0034TR1Z6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #614,792 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

NTSC/Region 0 pressing. South Korean pressing. Includes English sub-titles.

Out-of-print in the US.

Review

Tom Tykwer, writer-director of the international hit Run Lola Run, shows a more pensive side with Winter Sleepers. The film examines the lives of five characters in the aftermath of an auto accident. As with Run Lola Run, Tykwer's main concern is with chance and coincidence, and the ways people unwittingly influence the course of each other's lives. Theo, a farmer, sets off to take his horse to the vet, unaware that his daughter is hidden in the trailer. Momentarily distracted, Theo swerves to avoid a sports car coming the other way and crashes into a mountain slope, critically injuring his daughter. The sports car is covered by snow, and René, the driver, digs his way out and leaves the scene. Meanwhile translator Rebecca negotiates a stormy-but-sexy relationship with loutish ski instructor Marco, both of them unaware that Marco's stolen car was involved in the crash, and Rebecca's roommate Laura nurses the young accident victim by day and begins a tentative relationship with René by night. While Winter Sleepers doesn't have the same manic pace as Lola, Tykwer's visual style is very much in evidence--he makes beautiful images of everything from the snow-covered Bavarian mountains to a cut finger. As it moves through a series of tiny but crucial events to a truly haunting ending, Winter Sleepers is in many ways reminiscent of Atom Egoyan's The Sweet Hereafter, both in its central plot device and in its melancholy atmosphere of fatal inevitability. --Ali Davis - Amazon.com

Tom Tykwer wrote and directed this film before his hit "Run Lola Run," and it shares a similar obsession with chance happenings and coincidence. Rene, a young outcast who has lost his short-term memory, steals a sports coupe on a whim. Travelling up an icy mountain road, he swerves to avoid a farmer's station wagon, plunges off an embankment, and walks away from the scene, forgetting everything. The farmer is not so lucky; his daughter is gravely injured. Uncovering the identity of the "other driver" propels the film and eventually connects Rene with three other twentysomethings in the German alpine village: Marco, a blank, womanizing ski instructor; Rebecca, a blond temptress; and Laura, a local nurse. Tykwer displays mesmerizing skill with the camera-it zooms over mountaintops, slinks around corners, and spies from the ceiling. At surprising moments, the action spirals into an all-white screen, and whiteness becomes a recurring motif, a symbol of death and life. The stylistic brilliance is almost enough to distract you from the film's essential flatness. When played lightly, this kind of interconnected plot can build wonderful suspense, but when it's overplayed, as it is here, the story's greater resonance gets lost in all the machinations. In German with English sub-titles. --Michael Agger - The New Yorker

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 22, 2003
Format: DVD
Before Tom Tykwer created international hit "Run Lola Run" (or "Lola Rennt"), he created the ponderous "Winter Sleepers" (or "Winterschläfer"). Like Tykwer's later films, this one deals with fate, destiny, death, and love. It's an interesting execution, with a flawed climax and the occasional question of "where is this going?"
Laura (Marie-Lou Sellem) arrives at her little country cottage, where her pretty friend Rebecca (Floriane Daniel) lives. Things are complicated after the first evening: while handsome but loutish Marco (Heino Ferch) is in bed with Rebecca, a strange man (Ulrich Matthes) wanders over and takes Marco's car. But when he is driving, he causes an accident that puts a child in a life-threatening coma.
The child's father (Josef Bierbichler), stricken with grief, goes on the hunt for the man who accidently killed his daughter. That man, Rene, is now in love with Laura, but can't remember anything about the accident. Rene is also inadvertantly causing cracks in Laura and Marco's fragile, tempestuous relationship. One person will die -- two will find happiness -- and one will find freedom.
"Winter Sleepers" has a lot of the same themes and feel of Tykwer's later films, but more unpolished and loosely knit together. Though we know the fates of all these people are interconnected, much of the screen time is devoted to Laura and Rene's blossoming romance, or Marco and Rebecca's deteriorating one, and not to the central theme of the movie.
The cinematography is breathtaking, with a lot of Tykwer's signatures like a camera panning in a complete circle around Rene, and a character death never being shown except by a thud and darkness.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. Vuthi on October 17, 2003
Format: DVD
...much better. No question that Lola is a great movie, but turn off the soundtrack and it might get boring. This reminds me one of O'Henry's stories. Winter Sleepers takes it from a different angle. Not how the things might come if we miss by a minute the train or the bus, or if we take right or left. Winter Sleepers is deep. It tells you of what happens to us,is a reflection of how we behave in life itself...And we strugle to remember things we've done, to find explanation,no wonder!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Blake the Movie Nerd on March 30, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I'm not sure what I expected when I snatched "Winter Sleepers" off the shelf at the local Blockbuster. I know I didn't expect what I got, though. After a pulse-pounding action masterpiece like "Run Lola Run," Tom Tykwer must have decided to tone down his action muscles and start exercising his drama talents. "Winter Sleepers" is one of the best foreign films I've ever seen, filmed with Tykwer's manic style and passion for atmosphere, yet with a hint of Atom Egoyan's love for plot twists. This is a film that Egoyan (my personal favorite director) would've loved to make, but Tykwer took it, shook it up, and he did it right.
The film begins with an almost totally silent introduction that sets the tone for the entire movie with its lovely overhead shots of the snow banks and the musical score playing. Each character is unveiled in long panning shots and small captions. The movie's pace moves along rather slowly for about five minutes, and then POW! A car crash that results in the incapacitation of a little girl, and triggers a father's need for revenge. Then Tykwer grabs ahold of the reins and let's her rip. The relationships between the characters in this movie are so carefully constructed and so keenly developed that by the end of this film we realize that if just one of them were to not exist, it would completely alter the outcome of everyone else's lives. Just like Atom Egoyan. Because this is a Tom Tykwer movie, it has a faster pace than a movie Egoyan would've made, but it is because of that that it is not as good as an Atom Egoyan movie. Egoyan loves giving us the time to contemplate while we watch the film. Tykwer gives us that time too, but he also loves distracting us with his camerawork and one too many shots of nudity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By askquestionslater on September 1, 2005
Format: DVD
a great looking film about characters whose lives keep affecting eachother in ways that they themselves seem to be oblivious to. a film about twists of fate, winter sleepers is at parts slow and probably too clever at times for its own good, but none of this really matters. the film is hauntingly beautiful to look at, with amazing scenery, music , and atmosphere. great performances as well. just a well done, pretty film that deserves way more attention than it has received.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By S. Stella on July 17, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I have to start by saying that Tom Tykwer is my new hero. All three of his movies (Winter Sleepers, Lola and Princess) are centered around the same basic themes (love, fate, death, you know the drill) but still manage to be wonderfully unique and interesting.
This is not the movie for someone who wants to see Run Lola Run Redux. Maybe not the movie for someone who thinks this is a followup to Lola (yeesh). But this IS a lovely film, filled with memorable characters, GORGEOUS cinematography and an interesting plot. These aspects alone put it head and shoulders above a lot of what is being produced these days anyhow.
I guess the bottom line would be: buy the movie on its own merits, and not on expectations. There is a beautiful yet unsettling calm at the center of Winter Sleepers that sucks you in, but only if you give it a chance to.
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