Review: “Dead Awake”

Steven “No You’re Thinking of Billy” Baldwin is a dead-to-the-world insomniac somnambulist. He also plays one in this film. Deep in Canadian Chicago, the Born Again Baldwin has been accused of murder — and all ridiculously improbable signs point to same! A C-list cast works heroically to make Steven look almost competent amidst their shrill overacting. The screen fairly pops with references to trannies, porn theatres, MMFF, midgets, dirty old men, animal abuse and leather-clad lesbians. Despite these apparent advantages, and despite padding fifteen minutes of plot with an hour of bad (“clever?”) dialogue, it makes little satisfying sense in the end. (I have a theory that the film was designed to ritualistically cleanse Steven of his pre-twiceborn/ongoing excesses.) Don’t miss Michael Ironside playing Michael Keaton playing Beatlejuice playing Jack Nicholson playing R. P. McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as… probably another thing Steven’s been trying to swear off. Dead Awake is an incoherent hour and a half with a five drink minimum — this is truly what it’s like to be a Baldwin.

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