Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Science of Sleep

Title: The Science of Sleep -aka- La Science des rêves (2006)
Dir: Michel Gondry
Rating: **** out of 5 stars

I'll be honest: this is a WEIRD film. Some of it just confused the hell out of me, but most of it was sweet and visually stimulating. The Science of Sleep is designed to resemble a dream, so Michel Gondry found good use for his signature visual style, and his vivid imagination reaches an all-time high with this film.

Gael Garcia Bernal (Y Tu Mama Tambien) plays Stéphane, a whimsical Mexican man who moves to France in hopes of becoming an illustrator. He gets stuck in an office job instead, but ends up falling for his neighbor Stéphanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg). What transpires thereafter is mostly told through Stéphan's dreams. It gets confusing sometimes (partly because it's told in 3 languages) but it's also pretty cool visually.

There are those among you who will love this movie passionately. It has all the stunning visuals you'd expect from those kooky Frenchmen. And the performances are all great. This was my first Bernal film and I already love the guy. He's so strange and lovable in Science. Gainsbourg is great also, as are Stéphan's co-workers in the film (especially Alain Chabat).

Then there are those among you who will hate this movie, mostly because it sacrifices plot for visuals. In its defense, that is the whole idea. The Science of Sleep is all about dreams, and like a prolonged dream itself, the film veers off on fantastical tangents. It's also pretty cute, as far as the love story goes. Some of the dialogue is downright weird, but you'll get over it. With its quirky characters and bold visuals, I promise it's like nothing you've ever seen.