See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, November 15, 2000

Winter Sleepers

Posted By on Wed, Nov 15, 2000 at 12:00 AM

Winter Sleepers (1997), which writer-director Tom Tykwer made just before his huge art-house success Run Lola Run, is in many ways that film’s direct opposite. Where Lola was kinetic, schematic and tight, Sleepers is leisurely, sloppy and about a half-hour too long. And where Lola rushed by with a hyper techno beat, Sleepers lingers to the lulling accompaniment of the likes of Arvo Pärt.

Filmed in the lovely snow-draped environs of Berchtesgaden, Germany, the film has the kind of plot so reliant on coincidence that one suspects it may be, at heart, a comedy. Rene (Ulrich Matthes), who suffers from short-term memory loss, steals a car and has an accident which seriously injures the young daughter of a local farmer named Theo (Josef Bierbichler). Fleeing the scene, he shortly afterward begins dating Laura (Marie-Lou Sellem), a nurse who just happens to be treating the injured child and who also just happens to be best friends with a girl who’s dating the guy whose car Rene stole and crashed.

All this is leading up to Theo going after the wrong guy and a goofy if satisfying denouement (it helps that the wrong guy is an asshole, while Rene is a sensitive sufferer). The film is an entertaining, if pokey, soap opera whose pretensions are subsumed by Tykwer’s facile camera, especially when it’s floating, godlike, above the majestic Alps.

Showing exclusively at the Detroit Film Theatre (inside the DIA, 5200 Woodward, Detroit), Friday through Sunday. Call 313-833-3237.

E-mail Richard C. Walls at


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Richard C. Walls

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit