Greta (Bethany Whitmore) is almost 15 and just started at a new school where she is befriended by Elliott (Harrison Feldman). When her well-meaning mother (Amber McMahon) wants to help her find her social footing by throwing a birthday party for Greta and inviting everyone, Greta is mortified. Feeling the pressure of the situation and of growing up in general, it’s no surprise that some of Greta’s fantasies my run away from her a little bit.
Girl Asleep is a funny and sweet film that shines when it works with fantasies but loses a bit of its glow when it turns to more mundane moments. Nevertheless, it’s a coming-of-age film that is worth checking out even in a well-saturated genre.
Eight-year-old Mary Daisy Dinkle (Bethany Whitmore/Toni Collette) is a slightly strange and lonely child living in Melbourne with an alcoholic mother. One day, she tears a page from a New York phone book and writes at random to Max Horowitz (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Max turns out to be a fourty-four-year-old autistic who, after overcoming a panic attack triggered by the letter, answers Mary. A lifelong exchange of letters and friendship follows.
I can not tell you how perfectly wonderful this film is. It is funny, charming, sweet and incredibly well written, has great performances and is beautifully narrated by Barry Humphries. On top of that it looks amazing. Get your hands on a copy now.