Movie of the Week: The Science of Sleep


Randomness is very difficult to achieve. Organization always merges back if you don’t pay attention.
– Stéphanie

Michel Gondry loves Brazil.

Not the country (although he might), but the Terry Gilliam’s classic fantasy.

At least, I would be surprised if I ever read an interview or ran into him in a pug in England and asked him directly.

Because that’s the kind of energy I felt in this movie.

My friend and I were smiling throughout the entire movie (well almost).

The script was really smart. Expect to see many of the lines in my quote generator on the sidebar and in future e-mail signatures.

The dream sequences were also well-done. Gondry, who also directed Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, is really obsessed with the way the human mind works. He portrays the randomness of dreams extremely well and the way some people live inside their minds even when they interacting in the real world.

Gael García Bernal was amazing. I love when an actor constantly challenges himself. He sells Stéphane’s confusion between dreams and reality as well as his regression into a childlike state anytime he feels Stéphanie rejects him in the slightest. Sadly, I will admit to empathizing with him because it is weird how rejection can make the most sane person turn into an 8 year who’s just been told he can’t stay up to watch television.

Charlotte Gainsbourg was also good as Stéphanie. The weird thing is you never really know how she feels about him but you can see why she could like him and why she should be completely terrified of him.

I know this is going to sound bad but I love it when someone who is not attractive on first sight is cast as the romanitc lead. Not to say Charlotte Gainsbourg is unattractive but she’s someone who on an average day you wouldn’t look twice at but by the end of the movie, you can see why Stéphane loves (or is obsessed with her). That’s what makes a good on screen infatuation. A good example on a smaller scale is “Dawn” on BBC’s The Office.

45 minutes into the movie, I was ready to buy it on DVD and even considering actually paying to see it again (this was a sneak preview). Unfortunately, the ending leaves much to be desired. It was as if Gondry (he wrote and directed this time out) realized he couldn’t continue the back and forth between Stéphane and Stéphanie any longer and just decides to end it in a final scence that starts cute, turns ugly, then cute and then it’s over. It fit but it still left you a little disappointed.

I’m still buying it.

And you should still see it.

This movie also reignited my desire to learn French.

The Science of Sleep comes out on September 22nd.

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