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The Science of Sleep (2006)

Art House & International movie directed by Michel Gondry

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Bittersweet love story, with amazing visual.

  • Mar 25, 2007
  • by
This is a very European production. "The Science of Sleep" permeates with the viewer even more than "Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind" did after its first viewing because its more impulsive and creative. Michel Gondry, now having three full-feature films under his belt, does penetrate the very core of our dreams, and somehow makes us believe that we can too.

In the beginning of this film we can clearly see that Stephane, played by the charming Gael Garcia Bernal, has problems distinguishing dreams from reality. Stephane at first, lived in Mexico with his father, then moves to Paris with his mother after his father death. Taking up a boring and unsatisfying job, he often flees to an imaginary world. He falls in love with his new neighbor Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourgh). She herself is some sort of a dreamer, though more grounded in reality than Stephane. Though smitten by his fantastic world and creativity helps kick off their relationship. Now as the movie progresses Gondry blurs this concrete line and it becomes difficult for us to see the difference. This is a key part of the film, and seems to keep the impulse to a minimum while keeping us more in tune with Stephanes fantasies. Like everyone Stephane does, in his dreams, what he wants to do in reality, but can never muster the nerve to.

What's astonishing about this film is the sheer surreal childlike quality that Gondry is able to keep throughout the film. It's like an 8 year old was allowed to let his imagination go loose. Seldom have we seen such an inventive world on screen. The acting is naturally impressive. Gael Garcia Bernal is the perfect choice for Stephane. Though his character is a little bit uncanny (to say at least), he's able to make us feel sympathy for his character, especially at the end which is no small accomplishment. Gainsbourgh's prim and unconventional beauty is the perfect match for Bernal.

"The Science of Sleep" is more creative than Gondry's last two efforts, while still incorporating his interesting film work. Gondry does take the childlike stop-motion feel of "Rhinoceros Eyes," and blends it seemingly with his original ingenuity. A very human story involving the drama, paranoia, and tension experience. Not to be miss for the Indie film fans.

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More The Science of Sleep (2006) reviews
review by . February 01, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
***1/2 out of ****     Michel Gondry's "The Science of Sleep" is a surrealist's joint. This film is damn good proof that Gondry shall forevermore be a talented filmmaker, even with his several career turns (for the worse, as his most recent film, "The Green Hornet", may suggest). Perhaps the best directors are those who have had their days and then their failures. The Coen Brothers, for example, would not be so memorable if it had not been for the several mediocre films and the …
review by . February 11, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
The French have a way with films that tinker with reality, fantasy, illusions, and delusions and the result of those traits have produced some of the most exciting and avant garde films ever made. Michel Gondry has inherited the mantle from Cocteau, Resnais, etc and runs with it in this charming little diversion of a film THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP.    Gondry is primarily a visual artist and tells his stories in a visual manner, but that is not to say his stories are superficial or …
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About this movie


The French magician and director Georges Méliès was arguably the first master of special effects, filling the silent movie houses of the early 20th century with camera trickery that stunned and delighted audiences. A century later, Michel Gondry works very much in the spirit of his artistic predecessor and countryman, creating films and music videos that feel just as hand-crafted and visually fantastical.The Science of Sleepconcerns the flirtations and misunderstandings of Stéphane (Gael García Bernal,Babel), an aspiring visual artist, and Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg,21 Grams), his Parisian neighbor who creates whimsical sculptures from cotton balls and felt. As Stéphane toils in a caustic office for a company that makes calendars, he retreats into his dreams and finds them increasingly hard to distinguish from reality, and vice-versa.The Science of Sleepis a trilingual film, with dialogue spoken in French, English, and Spanish by characters who are very much global citizens, crossing boundaries of consciousness as easily as they cross boundaries of culture. Gondry decorates his love story with deliberately low-tech special effects, including cellophane made to look like bath water and a subconscious television studio constructed largely of corrugated cardboard. This is filmmaking with all the seams and stitches exposed, an appreciation for the patent falseness of films that nonetheless transport and enchant us. It's ...
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Director: Michel Gondry
DVD Release Date: February 6, 2007
Runtime: 106 minutes
Studio: Warner Home Video
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