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The brain is the most complex thing in the universe, and it's right behind the nose!
The Science of Sleep (DVD)
Member Name: huggy2009
The Science of Sleep (DVD)
Advantages: Imaginative, stunningly visual
Disadvantages: Madder than Mr T
This is something I agree on entirely with my brother, this is one of my favourite films too. It is wishy washy, it is weak in so many points, the writing, acting and the visuals will be considered fairly basic by some, but this is a triumph of imagination over content in so many senses.
The film is directed by Michel Gondry a French director well known for music videos for Bjork, White Stripes and other cool bands, he also directed the similarly wonderful 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' which had greater critical acclaim and probably more of a story than this.
The basic premise of the story is that Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal) moves to Paris to live with his mother following the death of his father and takes up an incredibly dull job making corporate calendars. Life is anything but interesting for Stephane but in his dreams he is happy. Stephane falls for his neighbour across the hall, Stephanie (Charlotte Gainsbourg), but as his feelings develop he finds it hard to differentiate between dreams and reality and we realise that Stephane actually has mental health problems as well as those relating to romance.
Gael García Bernal ... Stéphane Miroux
Charlotte Gainsbourg ... Stéphanie
Alain Chabat ... Guy
Miou-Miou ... Christine Miroux
Pierre Vaneck ... Monsieur Pouchet
Emma de Caunes ... Zoé
Aurélia Petit ... Martine
Sacha Bourdo ... Serge
Stéphane Metzger ... Sylvain
Alain de Moyencourt ... Gérard (as Decourt Moyen)
Inigo Lezzi ... Monsieur Persinnet
Yvette Petit ... Ivana
Jean-Michel Bernard ... Piano-playing Poli
My esteemed opinion:
This is an incredibly weird and wonderful film, if you want structure, plotting and substance then switch off in the first two minutes because you won't get it here. If you want a whimsical love story with twists and turns and visual imagination to burn then watch this.
The film is a weird mix of languages with the Mexican Bernal struggling with French and speaking English, while Charlotte Gainsbourg is clearly adept in any number of languages. The visual set pieces in this film are awesome for the most part, some of the things you see are unique and unforgettable, but bewarned some do look a bit tatty and if you aren't into this film you'll laugh at them for the wrong reasons.
The acting is fine, Bernal plays the tortured Stephane well, a nice guy who is totally confused, his mental issues aren't explored fully but underneath the whimsy there was a disturbing element to his character which I found interesting and different.
Charlotte Gainsbourg as Stephanie is beautiful, adult and a perfect foil for this incompetent child, she is a romantic and the developing friendship and potential love affair is beautifully played without coming across as too commercial.
The supporting cast are awesome with Alan Chabat excellent as a misogynistic work colleague.
I found everything about this film wonderful, I love unconventional love stories and this is totally unconventional. At times it does come across as self-conscious and knowingly odd, but most of the oddness makes sense in plot terms and Gondry creates an imaginative place for the story to develop.
The visuals are astounding and you wonder what kind of mind could come up with this, but I lapped it up and found I wanted to see more so always keep my eyes open for future Gondry releases, this is an international film that lacked some of the cutting writing of 'Eternal Sunshine' but it does have a huge heart and is an utterly beguilling romance.
The music is cool and whimsical, the cast are great fun and the film is colourful, beautifully romantic and odder than a guest appearance by Nick Cave in a Westlife video.
If your a bit odd or like things that don't have to make sense, then you will love this, if not then stick to the next Adam Sandler film.
The DVD is £11.95 on Amazon but it is also available for £4.99 in Fopp.
Summary: The brain is the most complex thing in the universe, and it's right behind the nose!