Writer’s Room: The Best Film You Couldn’t Stay Awake For

By: 10.23.12  •  175 Comments

For our first FilmDrunk Writer’s Room, the subject was films that always make you cry. It might not have been the most fitting subject for a FilmDrunk panel, because for the most part, we’re manly men who only cry when our football team loses or hookers pull out our chest hair. This time, however, I chose a topic a bit less “vulnerable.” (Next time, more female panelists will participate, I hope.).

This time the topic was: movies that always make you fall asleep. Now, I didn’t want it to be some posture-fest in which we all brag about hating low-hanging fruit – Twilight, Sex and the City, an Adam Sandler vehicle – movies you’re proud to be bored by because you know they’re crappy. No, I mean critically-acclaimed, influential films that you earnestly tried to watch because they’re Important with a capital I, that you, despite your best efforts, simply could not stay awake for. I was partly inspired by Total Film’s list of great films you’ll only watch once. Experiencing great art shouldn’t be like doing a homework assignment. And yet sometimes… it kind of is. As a former arts major and borderline narcolept, it was a subject near and dear to my heart.

This week’s writers: Laremy Legel (Film.com, FilmDrunk), Dustin Rowles (WarmingGlow, Pajiba), Burnsy (FilmDrunk, WithLeather), Brandon Stroud (WithLeather), Drew Magary (Deadspin, Gawker, GQ), Robopanda (GammaSquad), Morton Salt (FilmDrunk DVD Guides), and myself.



The easy thing to do would be to choose The English Patient. Did anyone else choose The English Patient? Man, that movie sucks harder than polio. But choosing The English Patient is cheating because 1) No one has ever finished watching The English Patient (trivia: it ends with a pretty wild DP scene) and 2) The English Patient isn’t a good movie. So I choose Lost in Translation. Damn the torpedoes!

Why Lost in Translation? It’s a legitimately great film, thoughtful, well acted, and zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Yeah, there’s the issue right there. If you throw in Lost in Translation on a Sunday afternoon, preferably right after the Dolphins have lost in excruciating (Tebow SEO) fashion, and it’s raining just a leeeeeetle bit, you’re going to be, in the parlance of our times, “Lights Out Jackson”. No doubt about it. It’s too thoughtful, and nothing really ever happens that doesn’t involve a knowing glance, only “knowing glances” are the opposite of everything Battleship. They require a close reading of the situation, replete with contextual clues and a deep well of empathy for the characters. All of that takes maximum effort. The film has a lot of Japanese references, which you likely have no idea on, further dipping you into dreamy land. It’s full of vivid colors and soft music, which I’m guessing is the same formula they pack into Nyquil.

Anyway, I love the film, but yeah, it’s a definite sleep aid. Pretty easy to fall asleep on your couch to Lost in Translation and not feel the least bit guilty about it. Now then, I have a brother who feel asleep, in the front row, during the opening night of The Matrix. It was bonkers. But that’s a story for another time …

Dustin Rowles

It makes me a terrible person, but There Will Be Blood.


Editor’s Note: BOO THIS MAN!


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