In what many acclaim to be Paul Schrader’s best film, the man behind the modern classics “Taxi Driver”, “Raging Bull” and “American Gigolo” brings us a Film Noir-drenched tale of redemption.
LIGHT SLEEPER is the story of John LeTour (Willem Dafoe), a courier for upmarket drug dealer Ann (Susan Sarandon). Chauffeured through nighttime New York, LeTour is wracked with guilt as he goes about his work. Desperate to ease his conscience and escape to a better life, just as Sarandon is also planning her exit to respectability, LeTour seeks an end to the loneliness of his dead-end existence. Meanwhile someone is killing women in a series of drug-related incidents.
Sarandon is at her most sexy and self-assured while Dafoe is all doubt and jagged edges as the outsider with a growing sense of foreboding that something horrible is going to happen. Seeming to be condemned to eternal damnation, LeTour faces a mid-life crisis of the soul.
Schrader has his camera glide through this twilight world, avoiding jump cuts or sharp edits, remaining cool and elegantly distanced. It is a tribute to his unique talents, and his own religious beliefs, that LIGHT SLEEPER is a film that provides not a descent to hell but finally redemption and salvation as Ann offers LeTour the moral comfort he seeks in a powerfully moving and unforgettable closing scene.