Nick Stahl gives another outstanding performance in William Maher's engrossing SLEEPWALKING. Stahl, who has sizzled in the film IN THE BEDROOM and the HBO series CARNIVALE, plays James, a troubled young man who can't get his life in order. When his equally troubled older sister, Joleen (Charlize Theron), takes off on one of her many extended leaves--usually with some trucker who eventually casts her aside--James is left to take care of his 12-year-old niece, Tara (BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA's AnnaSophia Robb). But struggling to make money and keep his apartment, James soon finds himself sleeping on the floor of the basement of his best friend's (Woody Harrelson) house, with Tara taken away by social services. Suddenly determined not to ruin Tara's life just because his and Joleen's lives have been disasters, James busts her out of foster care and heads out on a road trip, pretending to be Tara's father as he makes his way back to the farm where all his and Joleen's problems started, under the dictatorial thumb of his father (Dennis Hopper). Screenwriter Zac Stanford (THE CHUMSCRUBBER) has created a wildly dysfunctional family made up of fascinating characters who are seemingly trapped, with no way out. Even the local cop (SIX FEET UNDER's Matthew St. Patrick) wants to help them but is continually thwarted by their inability to do the right thing or make the best decision for themselves and those around them. Shot in less than a month on a low budget, SLEEPWALKING is the directorial debut of visual-effects veteran William Maher, who has worked on several Tim Burton films, but Maher doesn't go crazy with special effects here; instead, his first film is a tender, poignant character study featuring outstanding acting and beautiful locations.