Musical Score By: Christopher Young
Original Music By: A Fine Frenzy
Distributed by: Lakeshore Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Sleepwalking is a movie about hope in the face of abandonment. Tara Reedy (AnnaSophia Robb), at 11 years of age, is struggling to understand why her mother Joleen (Charlize Theron) has abandoned her, leaving her in the care of her uncle James (Nick Stahl). At first, James does his best to keep his impromptu family happy, but once he loses his job, things spiral out of control and Tara is placed in foster care. As James struggles to decide what to do with his young niece, old wounds surrounding his abusive father come back to haunt him. Wanting a better life for his niece, James takes Tara out of foster care and the two begin a life as father and daughter, James vowing to become the father Tara never knew and in the process, discovering a new purpose in life.
The soundtrack of Sleepwalking is composed by Christopher Young, a Golden Globe nominee and composer of the musical score of over 100 successful feature movies. Known for his originality in composition, Young has created musical score for the movies Hellraiser, Swordfish, The Shipping News, Ghostrider and Spiderman 3. In addition to his film scoring, Young also imparts his knowledge of music as a teacher at USC.
The Sleepwalking Soundtrack contains music that conveys a profound sadness – a sadness at the situation Tara is left in, a sadness in the life of a man going through the motions of living, but never actually feeling alive. This sadness is conveyed mainly via guitar and piano composition. One also gets a sense of innocence in listening to the soundtrack. In fact, there are only three tracks on the Sleepwalking Soundtrack in which this sadness is not overwhelming. Ferris Wheel gives us a sense of wild freedom and confusion. Shine On is perhaps the most freeing track, giving the listener a sense that the shadow has been lifted. There is a sense of hope in the uplifting quality of the composition. The song Come On, Come Out by A Fine Frenzy is a song of discovery, of coming of age and life. The song is enjoyable and well-suited for this film.
All in all, the Sleepwalking Soundtrack is rather depressing with the exception of those three tracks. The depression one feels in listening to this soundtrack could give one the impression that the characters in the film are simply existing, living life in a state of sleepwalking. Not having seen the movie, I can only hope that this was intentional. It would make Christopher Young’s composition for the film masterfully insightful. Otherwise, this is one depressing soundtrack with a dash of levity thrown into the mix. The Sleepwalking Soundtrack is one of those bargain bin finds you buy only to discover you really only liked the first track.