Light Sleeper Movie Review (1992)

Review: Now later in life, there’s clearly a resemblance in the characters of Taxi Driver and Light Sleeper that Paul Schrader identifies with. It could be the need to redefine oneself with age, or examine the decisions made at a younger stage of life. Willem Dafoe stars as a guilt-riddled, lonely man journaling his thoughts away in privacy.

Ann (Susan Sarandon) and John LeTour (Willem Dafoe) in Light Sleeper (1992), directed by Paul Schrader
Ann (Susan Sarandon) and John LeTour (Willem Dafoe) in Light Sleeper (1992), directed by Paul Schrader

Light Sleeper Review

Light Sleeper is a piece to a puzzle that Paul Schrader would begin to assemble in-depth decades later, including the likes of First Reformed, The Card Counter, and Master Gardener. The similarities are hilariously obvious – the guilt-riddled lonesome men journaling their thoughts away in privacy with the hopes that they’ll reckon with not just how to live, but if they should live at all.

And Willem Dafoe, as the even-keeled John LeTour, resembles many of the same physical and emotional (or emotionless) traits as the actors who have starred in Schrader’s recent movies. At times cold, and at other times surprisingly open about their scarred pasts. They are cut-and-dry character studies contemplating the possibilities of forgiveness and the scars of fault.

Paul Schrader could write and direct a dozen of these and I’d tune into each of them – and perhaps we’ll get to that amount in due time. Many directors try to branch out and make movies with different tones and in different genres, but it’s fascinating to watch Schrader scratch at this same itch time and time again.

Now later in life, there’s clearly a resemblance in the characters of Taxi Driver and Light Sleeper that Schrader identifies with. It could be the need to redefine oneself with age, or examine the decisions made at a younger stage of life.

Rating

Genre: Crime, Drama

Light Sleeper (1992) is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video, Tubi, and The Criterion Channel

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Light Sleeper Film Cast and Credits

light sleeper movie review 1992

Light Sleeper Cast

Willem Dafoe as John LeTour

Susan Sarandon as Ann

Dana Delany as Marianne Jost

David Clennon as Robert

Mary Beth Hurt as Teresa

Victor Garber as Tis

Jane Adams as Randi Jost

Sam Rockwell as Jealous

Light Sleeper Credits

Director: Paul Schrader

Writer: Paul Schrader

Cinematography: Edward Lachman

Editor: Kristina Boden

Composer: Michael Been

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