Rosemary Myers’s Australian Girl Asleep is literally a coming-of-age story, the action taking place during a white girl’s quinceañera. Although seemingly set in the nineteen-seventies, in terms of sensibility, Girl Asleep is of this moment: It is the paragon of twee, with a quirky heroine and a hero who defies rigid standards of heterosexuality. This tweeness is, for one of us, too much to bear by the end of the movie, a movie that nonetheless boasts an effective climax and a main character with a clearly defined arc. A mashup of styles, Girl Asleep seems to draw its surreal sequences from Michel Gondry’s oeuvre, while its costumes and art direction seem inflected by Wes Anderson. Even if the style is derivative, it’s still style—and it keeps us awake.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White